Mumbai: With the mercury levels dropping in the city, many street animals and birds are struggling for survival due to the cold and lack of food. Keeping this in mind, the wildlife NGOs along with the help of the citizens have begun rescue operations and have come up with guidelines to follow when somebody spots creatures in poor conditions.
Between November and February, the city animal rescuers receive several calls from the citizens when they find starved and dehydrated animals taking shelter around their houses. Wildlife NGO RAWW (Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare) Founder Pawan Sharma said they get at least five barn owl rescue cases every week during winter. He explained, “There is a deeper reason why barn owls are most distressed in winters. During this season, a lot of animals who form the prey base for the owls become less active during the nights when the temperature drops. A less active prey often goes unnoticed even though owls themselves are known for their silent flights. This makes it difficult for the owls to find prey leading to dehydration and starvation.”
According to the NGO, a starving owl is inactive even during the night and can often continue to stay in that condition if it doesn't receive timely help. The creatures out in the cold always don't need help but a warm and dry place can be more than enough sometimes, it added.
“If you find owls or other birds taking shelter in your balcony or parapet during this season, allow them to settle for the day or night. Often they need some time to regain their lost body heat and being in a warm space helps them to cope better. If they continue to be in that position for longer times then they may require help and you can get in touch with the nearest wildlife rescue organisation,” Mr Sharma added.
Underlining that it's important to ascertain if the creature is really in distress, he said that a forced rescue often puts the animals under trauma and captive stress.
“If you find owls or other birds taking shelter in your balcony or parapet during this season, allow them to settle for the day or night. Often they need some time to regain their lost body heat and being in a warm space helps them to cope better.”
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