The scorching heat is not only affecting us but also has taken a toll on birds and animals. According to the data provided by the Bai Sakarbai Dinshaw Petit Hospital for Animals in Parel, there has been a 30-40% rise in dehydration cases among birds and animals in April as compared to March.
Nearly 30 different animals and birds were hospitalised this week, said the hospital, adding that the admitted creatures include two turtles, pigeons, eagles, owls and crows. Senior doctors fear that hospitalisation might increase in coming days as birds are the worst-affected during summer.
Hospital Manager Dr. Mayur Dangar said the numbers of birds falling prey to scorching heat has increased in the past few years. In March 2022, 100 birds were affected, while the figure increased to 150 during the same period this year.
Dehydration and heat stroke among common symptoms
“We used to admit 2-3 birds or animals daily in March, which has almost doubled in the last seven days. Around 10-12 pigeons, crow, owl, parrot (three each) and a few eagles have been hospitalised. As per the preliminary report, heatstroke, severe dehydration and fever with high body temperature were the common symptoms in all the birds. In most of the cases, the birds and animals take 2-3 days to recover,” Dr Dangar said.
He continued, “We keep them in a cool cage, hydrate them from time to time, and if needed also keep them on intravenous treatment for recovery. Despite all the efforts, many creatures die at times. So far, 25-30 birds have died due to the severity of the ailment.”
Urbanisation among the primary reasons for creatures falling prey
Summer is a tough time for animals, especially stray dogs as they don’t have proper shelter hence leaving them under the scorching heat. Once recovered, the crows and pigeons are left in the hospital's open area so they can fly away, while wild birds are sent to the national park in Borivali, added the veterinarian.
Animal rights activists said that urbanisation and deforestation are the primary reasons behind creatures falling prey to extreme heat. “At a time, when the temperature is rising up to 38 degrees Celsius and there is a dearth of shade and water, birds are at the risk of dehydration,” said an activist.