New Delhi, Oct 4 (PTI) Firefighters in the national capital rescued more than 2,400 birds between mid-March and September, with a maximum number of such cases being reported around Independence Day when people traditionally fly kites and leave many stray strings that create a death trap for them.
According to data shared by the Delhi Fire Services (DFS), they received 13,271 distress calls between March 15 and September 30 this year, of which 2,433 were for rescue of birds and 1,681 for animals.
Firefighters receive on an average 150-200 calls every month for rescue of birds or animals. And the number goes up sharply in the month of August.
This time, DFS received 882 calls for bird rescue and 345 calls for animal rescue in August alone, its director Atul Garg said.
He said the drastic rise in bird and animal rescue calls during August was due to the kite flying season, especially around Independence Day celebrations.
Fire services officials said most of the rescue calls they receive are for birds like crows, pigeons, parrots that either get stuck on electric wire or a tree due to kite string. Or, they get calls related to cows, cattle, dogs or cats which get stuck inside narrow lanes, closed spaces, sometimes even inside houses, in a pit, canal or a drain.
The officials that for rescue of birds and animals, a vehicle is sent along with a team consisting of four-five firemen. The vehicle usually has a ladder but in cases, where it faces difficulties with high rises, bigger vehicles are sent if required. Once the bird is rescued and in case, it needs treatment, the fire services personnel shift them to a bird hospital.
Recalling an incident of September 28, a fire official said they received a call from the police control room seeking assistance to rescue a cow that fell into a drain near a petrol pump in Sector-21, Rohini.
With the help of ropes and locally available equipment, the cow was pulled out from the drain safely by the firefighters which they said required a lot of patience.
Talking about the challenges involved in such rescue operations, Garg said one of the difficulties they face when it comes to rescue of a bird or a trapped animal is the spot is usually not easily accessible. There are also no specialised equipments for their rescue. Most of the time, a hydraulic platforms meant for highrise buildings are used.
Another challenge, he said, is 'when it comes to trees, while trying to rescue a bird entangled in a kite string on a tree, even if a branch of a tree falls down or even one movement goes wrong while trying to catch the bird, it may also fall down and die. In that case, our entire effort of rescue goes in vain, if what we are trying to save will not be left.' Garg said the firemen do not usually use the traditional methods while rescuing a bird or an animal.
'Bird rescue calls are most challenging and difficult since there is no special equipment which can be used in the rescue. It's mostly the experience of the firemen, their presence of mind, utmost patience and locally made arrangements that helps. Just like human lives, we give utmost priority to birds and animals rescue calls, which we have been doing for ages now with precautions and care,' he said. PTI AMP SMN SMN