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Heatwaves hit India as birds fall from the sky

India have seen a 10% increase in the number of birds that need rescuing during hot summer. People in Pakistan and India are advised to put water for birds.

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Rescuers in India’s western Gujarat state are picking up dozens of exhausted and dehydrated birds dropping everyday as a scorching heatwave dries out water sources in the state’s biggest city, veterinary doctors and animal rescuers say.

Large swathes of South Asia are drying up in the hottest pre-summer months in recent years, prompting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to warn of rising fire risks.

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

Read more: Modi warns of fire risk amid heatwave in India

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

Animal doctors at the trust-run hospital were seen feeding birds multi-vitamin tablets and injecting water into their mouths using syringes on Wednesday.

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

India is getting too hot too early, raising the risk of fires, Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned last month, as a heatwave gripped much of the country and a landfill site burned on the capital’s outskirts.

“Temperatures are rising rapidly in the country, and rising much earlier than usual,” Modi told heads of India’s state governments in an online conference.

Read more: Heatwaves: The next big killer after Covid?

The extreme heat has swept across large areas of India and Pakistan this week and follows the hottest March since the India Meteorological Department (IMD) began keeping records 122 years ago.

Reuters with additional input by GVS News Desk