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17 Jan 2021, Edition - 2014, Sunday

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Coimbatore

Saviour of the birds

Covai Post Network

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City-based group Animal Rescuers works with the Forest Department to rescue and rehabilitate injured and captive birds.

What would you do if you saw an injured bird lying on the road ? Stop and help it, or move on without a care ? If you are among the former, you would appreciate the work of volunteer group Animal Rescuers.

Formed by a group of students in 2009, Animal Rescuers was formally registered in November 2012 and comprises nearly 100 members, 25 of whom are in the core committee.

The group also runs a campaign ‘Born to Fly’ to drive home the importance of letting birds live in their natural environment.

“We try to convince people that birds are not meant to live in cages. We speak to a lot of school students about this. We tell them that birds need to fly free; if we need to see them, we must go where they live, not
the other way around,” says founder Joseph Reginald, who started the group when he was a student at the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History, Anaikatti.

Animal Rescuers functions from within the Forest College campus. Members try to pool in resources themselves, and the public chips in occasionally, but they could do with more help. It will allow them to rescue more birds.

“The cost of feeding the birds — sometimes we house as many as 100 birds at the same time — is minimal, but treatment, surgery and transportation are expensive. It would be nice if some veterinarians volunteered to treat these birds free of cost,” says Bhavin Shah, one of the core members.

Initially, the group rescued all birds, before they started focussing on parakeets, a much abused species because they are favoured as pets.

“However, we accept all distress calls, and after treating the birds, release them in the forest areas on the outskirts of the city,” says Bhavin.

If you want to help or contribute, call 96260-11011.

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