Heatwave fallout:166 birds die of severe dehydration in Hyderabad

Animal rights activists are already handing out water bowls across the city and advising citizens to put up their water bowls for pets and birds

By Anoushka Caroline Williams  Published on  7 Jun 2023 6:12 AM GMT
Heatwave fallout: 166 birds die of severe dehydration in Hyderabad.

Hyderabad: Birds are dying from severe dehydration due to the extreme heatwave in Hyderabad.

Data compiled from several rescue organizations indicates that 166 dehydrated birds have been discovered between March and the present. In reality, this season there were 37 incidents of dehydration reported to the Greater Hyderabad Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (GHSPCA), eight of which resulted in fatalities.

"During the summer, large birds like eagles typically move outside of cities. Small birds, like pigeons, prefer to stay in populated regions and feeding sites. Although food is available to feed flocks, there is no water supply for them throughout the summer”, according to GHSPCA secretary Surender Bhandari.

Although pigeons make up the majority of the birds this organization has so far saved, some are also owls. Other birds, including kites, parrots, crows, and swallows, have also been discovered and saved by various activists, who blame the city's lack of adequate water supplies on fast concretization for the mass dehydration of the birds.

Director of Animal Warriors Conservation Society (AWCS), Pradeep Nair, his team has saved 26 birds so far this season.

"Birds that are most in need of being rescued have been spotted in central Hyderabad and western parts as many pigeons tend to remain in residential habitats and don't move too far in search of water," said Nair.

Animal rights activists are already handing out water bowls across the city and advising citizens to put up their water bowls for pets and birds.

"The migration season for birds typically runs from November to March. At this time of year, the majority of them have finished breeding and have moved on from the water bodies. Birds tend to become quickly dehydrated at this period, so having a water dish put up on top of the structure may help”, Bhandari noted.

In a similar incident reported on Tuesday, a full-grown peacock collapsed in Yapral in Villa No 24.

Col. Bhupinder Singh's family, who lived in the villa, examined it and discovered that it was hurt and likely also suffering from the heat.

They doused it with water, which brought the bird back to life. They then fed it food and water and kept it in a secure location on the terrace.

Forest Department approached Shiva Prakash, whose organization, Sarva Jeeva Society Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation is recognized by the department, and asked him to help with the animal rescue. He arrived and took the bird away for care and monitoring and was being given ORS and antibiotics to heal.

The bird passed away last night due to extreme loss of blood and weakness.

“We are grateful to Col. Bhupinder Singh and his family for acting quickly to stop the bird's additional bleeding and dehydration. I want everyone to have a water basin made of soil on their terrace”, Mr. Shiva remarked.

“Animals and birds, unlike people, cannot control their body temperatures via sweating. In addition to endangering their way of life, temperatures that rise over the 25–37°C range (depending on where in India you are!) can also encourage viral diseases inside their colonies. They must thus consume a lot of water to lubricate and strengthen their organs. But given that they are unable to bring a bottle of water with them, this is challenging” said Shiva.

Here is what we can do to help our furry and winged friends

Keep water sources, and food available outside

The simplest method to guarantee that the animals in our community stay hydrated is to have water sources prepared with clean water. The water is kept comparatively cold and clean by using inexpensive clay pots, which also protect the vessel from overturning. If you reside on a higher level, you may provide a drinking source for birds like pigeons, crows, sparrows, parrots, and more by filling a container with water and placing it on a parapet.

Fruits and vegetables are often great providers of nourishment and water for animals. Place any extra food in your refrigerator that is accessible to them in a shaded area.

Maintain your gardens

Maintaining a lush, well-watered garden contributes to the creation of a cool atmosphere where neighborhood animals can find refuge during the summer heat waves. Their paws receive some much-needed respite from moist, mulchy soil, and the shade provided by trees enables them to remain comfortable despite the oppressive heat.

Understand the signs of heat stress

Even though they might not be able to communicate their needs well, animals may also need immediate care. It is best to be aware of the physiological and behavioral symptoms of heat exhaustion under such circumstances.

Disorientation, excessive panting, increased respiratory rate, difficulty to stand up straight, increased salivation, increased water intake, loss of appetite, and loss of consciousness are some common, obvious signs of heat stress in animals.

Keep a vigilant eye

An innocent life can be saved by recognizing or hearing animals in distress and acting quickly. So, make an effort to pay close attention to your surroundings. Keep a close check on things from your windows, gardens, or any other locations with a good view of your surroundings outside.

Watch out for animals left alone in vehicles as well. Even with the windows partially open, heat can build up fast in enclosed spaces, and even if the car isn't parked in full sunshine, the animal might pass out from heat stroke in a matter of minutes.

Take immediate action to help stressed animals

Give animals water right away to provide immediate relief if you notice them showing indications of heat-related fatigue or stress. Also, report the situation to humane authorities right away. Till the problem is handled, try not to leave their side.

Try to help them yourself if it's safe to do so. If you can, cover them with a wet cloth, sprinkle some water on them, and have a dish of water around to give them a break. Make sure they are comfortable being in enclosed areas before driving them to the clinic. They may be cooled down by fans as well.

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