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Plight of strays in summer

Many stray animals suffer during summer due to the heat. Usually, animals prefer to stay under the shade of trees, but because of humans, lots of trees have been damaged. There’s no shade left for them. Humans are selfish, they only think of themselves — during winter, they cut the trees for sunlight. And due to this, the rest of the year, animals have to suffer.

They get dehydrated due to exposure to direct sunlight for such long hours. Due to this, they start getting migraines and become weak. They don’t even get much water to rehydrate themselves. Majority part of a living being’s body is made of water. So, naturally organs will cease to function in its absence.

We get many calls for the rescue of birds which fall off the trees — not been able to bear the sweltering heat. They get dehydrated as they fail to find any water body nearby. People have this wrong notion that birds can fly, so it’s easy for them to travel in search of water.

But that’s not the case, because many bird species are local – they won’t even go to the other part of the city. The birds in your neighbourhood, might not go to the next one as they are locals. Birds in other areas are territorial, as they have control over the food in that particular area.

Humans have removed all the natural water bodies – plus the pollution level has increased. Not only birds, there are other animals who fall sick owing to dehydration. We need to encourage everyone to keep water in bowls outside their homes.

If you watch the bowl throughout the day, you’ll see so many different kinds of animals – many species of birds, squirrels, cats, dogs, even bees and butterflies — all coming in. Every creature needs water: Wherever there’s water – there’s life. All civilisations have started next to a water body. Without water, no living being can survive. Also, a planet is only suitable for living when there’s presence of water there.

Because of absence of water bodies, wildlife is in a major crisis. They can’t talk or express – thus it’s harder for them to survive. If we keep water for all these creatures, they’ll recognise our efforts and will be thankful. They might not be able to give you something in return – but they can be your friends, dogs can give you protection.

During summer, when people find birds falling off trees – they take them to the Bird Hospital near Jain Temple. Even Delhi’s fire service sometimes comes in for their rescue. Lots of people call NGOs located nearby – they come in their rescue because it’s not safe for the bird to be kept on the road – a car might run over it or other animals might kill it.

The most important step to take right now is that everyone should keep a bowl of water outside their house. Animals are also God’s creation. We are hurting them by removing the natural water bodies. So, the best thing to do is to offer water to them — it’s like offering water to God. Usually if someone is going through a bad phase in life, they are told to feed animals.  But you don’t need to wait for something bad to happen perform this little task.

Verhaen Khanna, a commercial pilot by profession, is also an environment activist. He is the founder of the New Delhi Nature Society

As told to Shruti Das

Pet Talk

Taking care of pets, especially during summer is a task. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Pets should be taken to walk either in the early hours of day time or after sunset. Otherwise, the heat can affect their health.
  • Like humans, pets should also not to fed foods which aren’t easy for them. So, one must check their diets during summer!
  • One best way to beat the heat is to spray cool water every few minutes. This can help your pet remain cool. For this purpose, one can use a regular spray bottle.
  • Keep them hydrated – they should be made to drink plenty of water.
  • They should not be kept inside your car for long, even if it’s parked under a shade – as the heat generating from it might harm them.
  • Also, it’s better not to give them a shave – as the furs will protect them from the heat and sunburn