By: Zahid Jadwat
As large parts of South Asia swelter under record-high temperatures, veterinary doctors in the Indian state of Gujarat have rescued thousands of dehydrated birds falling from the sky.
Manoj Bhavsar, a rescuer in the populous city of Ahmedabad, said: “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”.
In an interview on Radio Islam, Moumita Chatterjee, Program Director of the Jivdaya Charitable Trust, said the heatwave has caused many other stray animals to suffer from heatstrokes, including cats and dogs. The non-profit organisation runs an animal hospital in the city.
“We have a lot of stray animals… dogs, cows and cats… they also get dehydrated. The major problem for animals is heatstroke,” she said.
Health officials in Gujarat advised hospitals to set up special wards for heatstroke and other heat-related diseases due to the rise in temperatures.
Meanwhile, India’s western state of Maharashtra registered 25 human deaths from heatstroke since late March, the highest toll in the past five years, with more fatalities likely elsewhere in the country facing the harsh effects of climate change.
April was the hottest month in 122 years and followed the hottest March on record, as temperatures soared above 50 degrees celsius.
“We are so selfish, chopping off the trees we are taking their natural habitat. We need to understand that if they are not in our ecosystem, our human race won’t be able to survive for long,” said Chatterjee.
Listen to the full interview here: