By Steffi Joseph
In a historic rescue effort, over 300 birds were saved from the disaster that Cyclone Phailin caused in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. The disaster relief team was led by two veterinarians, Dr. Sanath and Dr. Yshesh and one wildlife biologist, Mr. Sagar. They provided first aid and veterinary care for hundreds of rescued birds, mainly Asian open bill Storks.
The Wildlife SOS cyclone relief team were first deployed in Andhra Pradesh to save distressed animals trapped in the disasters areas.
The team worked out of a base camp close to Ichchapuram where the local people have reported the death of over 800 birds. The Wildlife SOS team has been working with the local communities and other local organizations like the VSPCA to treat injured birds and privde them with veterinary care and food.
The team also established a bird nursery in a local school building where fledglings of Asian open bill storks have been sheltered and are being provided care. The school building is near the base camp.
Dr. Arun A Sha, Veterinary Director of Wildlife SOS who has been coordinating the relief operation said, “Once we heard the news about the cyclone, we started making preparations. We formed a team for the disaster that responded immediately when we received the report of hundred of birds being injured in Andhra Pradesh. The cyclone’s impact uprooted and damaged trees. This resulted in thousands of bird nests crashing to the ground. Unfortunately, hundreds were crushed by the branches resulting in many being severely injured.”
“It is a very difficult operation because the team had to travel via Visakhapatnam for apprxoimately nine hours by road to reach the disaster struck location. We hope to keep sending more teams and volunteer to the affected areas,” he said.
Geeta Seshamani, Co-founder of Wildlife SOS expressed, “It is a very traumatic experience for our team working at the base camp. I am glad that we are able to do our bit in saving these distressed souls. We hope to rescue as many birds and animals as we can in the coming days.”
Please make a donation to help the relief efforts at www.wildlifesos.org/donate