Indians save thousands of birds from heatwave

Photo by Genaro Servín on

As a scorching heatwave dries up water sources in the state’s biggest city, veterinary doctors and animal rescuers said rescuers in India’s western Gujarat state are rescuing dozens of exhausted and dehydrated birds dropping to the ground everyday.

In the hottest pre-summer months in recent years, large areas of South Asia are drying up, leading Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to warn of fire risks.

Veterinarians in an animal hospital managed by non-profit Jivdaya Charitable Trust in Ahmedabad said every day rescuers bring in dozens of high flying birds, such as pigeons or kites, and they have treated thousands of birds in the last few weeks.

Manoj Bhavsar, who works closely with the trust and has been rescuing birds for over a decade, said, “This year has been one of the worst in the recent times. We have seen a 10 percent increase in the number of birds that need rescuing.”

Due to the rise in temperatures, health officials in Gujarat have issued advisories to hospitals to set up special wards for heat stroke and other heat-related diseases.