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Searing heat in Delhi-NCR takes a toll on birds

A kite lying helplessly on the ground due to dehydration and exhaustion because of rising temperatures

The searing heat is taking a toll on not only human beings but also birds and animals. This has been noticed with a sharp increase in rescue operations undertaken by Wildlife SOS in Delhi and National Capital Territory for saving birds from dehydration and heat exhaustion caused by rising temperatures.

Recently, the NGO’s Rapid Response Unit rescued a black kite fledgling found in the garden of a residence located in Chanakyapuri. Unable to fly the bird was lying motionless on the ground. On being informed the unit first provided drinking water and hydrated the bird, after which it was transferred to a transit facility. Presently under medical observation, the bird will be released once declared fit by the veterinarians.

Another black kite which had been caught in a deadly manja or the glass-coated nylon string, was found hanging from a tree at Sheikh Sarai Phase-I residential complex. Rescued by the Response Unit in collaboration with Delhi Fire Service, the bird was suspected to have been stuck there for two days.

Kites which have the tendency of flying at higher altitude are more prone to the excessive heat and while descending down in search of prey or water, they very often collapse on the ground due to exhaustion.

Talking about these rescue incidents, Wasim Akram, Deputy Director-Special Projects, Wildlife SOS said: “With maximum temperatures reaching 42 degrees Celsius during the day, a large percentage of the avian population in Delhi-NCR is becoming a victim of dehydration, heat exhaustion and lack of shade. They are often found lying on the ground unconscious and some even suffer from heatstroke, which can lead to death if appropriate measures are not taken.”

In March itself, the NGO rescued 120 birds including 30 kites and more than 70 pigeons. In order to tackle these incidents, Wildlife SOS is spreading awareness among people to put out earthen water bowls and food in balconies, window sills, outside residential complexes and shops. They are also urging them to increase the green cover by planting more trees and keeping potted plants to help these birds.

The organisation can be contacted on their 24-hour helpline (+91-9871963535) in case an injured and suffering bird or animal due to heat exhaustion in Delhi NCR is found.

Also read: More than 1,700 birds seized by Delhi Police in a major raid