In India’s western Gujarat state, veterinarians and animal rescuers are struggling to save birds. Rescuers have witnessed a 10% increase in dehydrated birds dropping every day after experiencing heatstroke. Veterinary professionals and animal rescuers are scooping up birds to save them as the temperature continues to rise and water supplies in the state dry up.
Large swaths of land in South Asia have dried up in recent years during the warmest pre-summer months. The soaring temperatures have forced Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to issue a fire warning.
According to reports, physicians at the non-profit Jivdaya Charitable Trust’s animal hospital in Ahmedabad have treated thousands of birds in the previous few weeks. Every day, animal rescuers and veterinarians assist dozens of high-flying birds such as pigeons and kites. ‘This year has been one of the worst in recent times. We have seen a 10% increase in the number of birds that need rescuing’, said Manoj Bhavsar, who works closely with the trust. He has been involved in rescuing birds for over a decade.
A few photos illustrate how veterinarians at the trust-run facility give birds multivitamin pills and use needles to inject water into their mouths. Due to the rising temperatures, health officials in Gujarat have advised hospitals to build up dedicated units for heat stroke and other heat-related ailments.
With an average maximum temperature of 40.2 degrees Celsius, India saw its warmest March in 122 years, while its capital, Delhi, had its second-hottest April in 72 years (104.4 F). Pakistan has also seen exceptionally high temperatures as a result of historic heat waves.
Several birds were reported to be in distress in the national capital in April. An NGO is said to have rescued roughly 140 birds suffering from fatigue and dehydration since March.
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In March, Wildlife SOS members rescued approximately 120 birds, including 30 kites and more than 70 pigeons, and 20 black kites this month in Delhi-NCR. ‘Rising temperature causes dehydration and heat exhaustion. Wildlife SOS has rescued numerous birds from such distress situations and provided necessary medical aid to the city’s avian population’, the NGO said.