Helpline Rescues – May 2022!

July 8, 2022 | By Roohi Narula
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May this year has been an action-packed month for the Wildlife SOS team. As temperatures rose, cases of wild animals in distress skyrocketed as well. Our team has been hard at work ensuring that no call goes unheard! 

Animals At Peculiar Places in Agra! 

Much like their human counterparts, wildlife in India sought respite from the scorching summer sun. For residents of Agra, this meant coming across animals in the most unusual places. 

The Wildlife SOS Rapid Response Unit was called in for the rescue of an Asian palm civet found at Concept Conceivers and Executors— a shoe manufacturing factory located in Sikandra, Agra. Unable to cope with the rising temperatures, the civet sought shelter in the sole cutting room of the factory and was spotted by employees. As a three-member team from Wildlife SOS reached the location, they found that the civet was extremely dehydrated and required immediate medical attention. After receiving the necessary care, the civet was released back into its natural habitat. 

A Civet cat found itself in a show factory in Agra [Photo (C) Wildlife SOS/ Shresatha ]

Our team in Agra was also able to rescue a 25 kg Softshell turtle from Railway Colony, Agra that had fallen victim to illegal wildlife trade. The turtle was spotted by a resident of the colony when it was stashed inside a jute sack on the side of the road! The resident immediately alerted the Wildlife SOS helpline that dispatched a rescue team promptly. The turtle was under stress and extremely dehydrated due to long exposure to direct sunlight. Wildlife SOS provided intensive veterinary care and medication to stabilise its health. Despite being protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection Act), 1972, the Indian softshell turtle (Nilssonia gangetica), or Ganges softshell turtle, is poached extensively for its body parts and its meat which is considered a delicacy in some parts of Southeast Asia.

Softshell turtles often fall victim to illegal wildlife trade despite being protected by law [Photo (C) Wildlife SOS/ Shresatha]

During these sweltering days, residents of Agra also encountered spectacled cobras, one of the ‘big four’ venomous snakes in the country! The Agra rescue team extricated 6 Spectacled cobras from homes, offices, and gardens in May! 

This was a month to remember for the Agra team: from rescuing birds like Egyptian vultures, Barn owls, Shikra to mammals like mongoose! In totality, the Agra team  rescued 135 animals including 49 reptiles, 40 birds, and 46 mammals! 

Rare Snake Sightings In The National Capital! 

Unlike humans, reptiles are ectothermic creatures, which means they rely on outside sources to regulate their body temperature. Thus, as mercury levels rose across the nation, reptiles actively sought places to stay cool! For residents in Delhi, this meant finding reptiles in the most unusual of places. Even the most elusive snakes were found coming closer to human settlements to seek respite. 

In a scintillating rescue operation, the Wildlife SOS Rapid Response Unit was called to South Motibagh complex, near Sadhu Vaswani International School for Girls, where a Buff striped keelback was slithering in the garden! The team rushed to the location and extricated the snake. 

Rare Buff Striped Keelback was rescued in Delhi [Photo (C) Wildlife SOS]

In another instance, residents of a New Delhi household were shocked to find a 5-foot-long Rat snake coiled behind the water pumping motor of the residence. They immediately alerted the Wildlife SOS 24-Hour Helpline which dispatched a team promptly. Upon reaching the location, the team swiftly extricated the snake and released it back into its natural, wild environment. 

Rat snakes have in fact been a common occurrence in the capital. In May, the team rescued 12 Rat snakes from all over NCR! Apart from the Rat snake, the Indian cobra has been a commonly encountered reptile. This month, 13 cobras were rescued from various locations. 

Rat Snakes have been a common occurrence in the national capital [Photo (C) Wildlife SOS]

The avian population of the NCR region too was impacted by the heat this year. A total of 176 birds were rescued from NCR in the month of May: from bats and kites, to bulbuls and parrots! Most of these birds were suffering from dehydration or heatstroke. 

May had the Delhi team rescue 44 reptiles, 176 birds, and 36 mammals! 

A Crocodile World in Gujarat! 

In the state of Gujarat, Wildlife SOS helpline run in collaboration with Gujarat Society for Prevention to Cruelty to Animals (GSPCA), had a thrilling month rescuing a myriad of birds, mammals and reptiles. 

In a riveting rescue operation, the WSOS-GSPCA team was called in for the rescue of a nearly 5-feet-long crocodile found in the premises of a farmhouse! Much to the dismay of the owner,  the crocodile had made itself comfortable in the large estate. The Wildlife SOS-GSPCA team reached the location with all the necessary equipment in hand. Having rescued several crocodiles from stressful situations in the past, the team proceeded cautiously, ensuring the safety of the animal as well as the residents. The crocodile was carried away from the location and released into the Vishwamitri river under the guidance of the forest department. 

Mugger crocodile found in the premises of a farmhouse in Vadodara [Photo (C) Shresatha ]

In another instance, the Wildlife SOS-GSPCA team intercepted the illegal trade of over 30 parrots and one owl! Smuggling and selling of birds to be kept as pets is a common practice  and many are unaware of the brutality that these precious avians go through. 

The Wildlife SOS-GSPCA team rescued over 115 birds this May. In a peculiar case, a Jungle babbler chick was abandoned by her mother who refused to take her back. Members from the Rapid Response Unit thus hand-reared the bird and will release it back into the wild once it is old and fit enough. 

Never a Dull Day in J&K! 

Run by the exceptional Aaliya Mir, the Wildlife SOS Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) team never has a dull moment. The team rescued 24 reptiles from various parts of J&K in May. 

In a unique rescue operation, the team was called in for the rescue of a Rat snake that had made itself comfortable in the engine of a cab! Aware of the precarious nature of the situation, the driver parked the taxi in a vast field before calling the Wildlife SOS Hotline (+91 7006692300,+91 9419778280). Soon, a two-member team reached the location. They opened the car engine and carefully extricated the snake. The Rat snake was kept under observation for a few hours. Once deemed fit, it was released back into the wild. 

A Rat snake was removed from the engine of a car [Photo (C) Wildlife SOS/ Aaliya Mir]

One particular day in May proved to be busy for the J&K team as they rescued 3 Levantine vipers from different locations! One Levantine viper was found in an office, while the other was slithering across the garden of a local resident! The third viper was found in Gupkar range, an exclusive area housing senior bureaucrats. Our J&K team has ample experience rescuing these rare yet venomous snakes and carried out the operations smoothly. 

3 Levantine Vipers were rescued in one day [Photo (C) Wildlife SOS /Aaliya Mir]

The team also rescued an Egret from the civil court in Srinagar. The distressed bird had bruises on its foot and beak, making it unfit to fly. Our team rescued the bird and provided it with necessary veterinary care for 2-3 days. The veterinary team’s dedication proved successful as the bird was soon fit to fly and was therefore released. 

Every month, Wildlife SOS carries out numerous rescues of wild animals. Our Rapid Response Unit is established in the following regions and can be reached out for assistance:

Delhi NCR – +91 9871963535

Agra – +91 9917109666

Vadodara – +91 9825011117

Jammu & Kashmir – +91 7006692300, +91 9419778280

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Hotline Number | हॉटलाइन नंबर

Delhi NCT Region +91-9871963535
Agra Region (UP) +91-9917109666
Vadodra Region +91-9825011117
J&K Region +91 7006692300
+91 9419778280