Birds fall from the sky as heatwave scorches India

AHMEDABAD • Rescuers in India's western Gujarat state are picking up dozens of exhausted and dehydrated birds dropping every day, as a scorching heatwave dries out water sources in the state's biggest city, veterinary doctors and animal rescuers said.

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 every day.

"This year has been one of the worst in recent times. We have seen a 10 per cent increase in the number of birds that need rescuing," said Mr 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 multivitamin 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 conditions due to the rise in temperatures.

REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 14, 2022, with the headline Birds fall from the sky as heatwave scorches India. Subscribe