Baby Animals Receive Help In Time As Wildlife SOS Conducts Rescues Across Delhi

July 19, 2023 | By Neellohit Banerjee
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Animals often find themselves in difficult situations due to a fragmented urban landscape. In such cases, their young ones can go through severe stress if not saved on time. Offsprings, especially the newborns, are entirely dependent on their parents and separation for even a tiny moment can be a matter of life and death.

Our 24×7 rescue helpline in Delhi is constantly ringing and receives hundreds of calls in a month. These range from dehydrated birds and bats, to distressed monkeys and snakes, to injured jackals and civets. These rescue calls include instances where it’s not only the adults, but the baby animals that are looking for urgent help as well.

Distressed Baby Birds

In order to reunite offsprings with their parents or to ensure their survival, Wildlife SOS has completed numerous rescues concerning infant animals across Delhi-NCR. Attending one such call, our team rushed to the rescue of a brown-headed barbet chick last month when a resident from Vasant Vihar in Delhi came across the unexpected visitor. Concerned for the safety of the bird, the resident informed our Rapid Response Unit, which led to the quick arrival of our rescuers, and a safe rescue of the baby bird.

Fledgling of a brown-headed barbet rescued from Vasant Vihar in Delhi. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Nikhil Bisht]

Another case in August 2022 included the rescue of four peafowl chicks from the Bharat Nagar Police Station in Ashok Vihar. The abandoned peachicks were found by the police and were kept in safe custody at the station. The chicks were possibly separated from their mother, leaving them vulnerable to predators such as domestic cats and raptors. As soon as the police informed Wildlife SOS about this, it became important to safely secure the baby birds.

When peafowl chicks are separated from their parents, they are under threat of other predators. [Representational photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Nikhil Bisht]

In order to help a baby bird, the most important step is to identify at what stage the bird is in. One has to observe the chick carefully to discern if it is a hatchling, nestling or a fledgling. A baby that has just hatched from the egg is called a hatchling. Hatchlings are completely bare and have limited movements.

Nestlings are vulnerable and dependent on their parents for survival. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Suryoday Singh Mann]

A nestling is only a little older, and relies on its parents as it isn’t ready enough to leave the nest. It lacks feathers but may have patchy fuzz over its body. Some nestlings may also have eyes that haven’t opened yet. Nestlings develop into fledglings and become quite active and alert. While they are still small in size, their eyes are now open and their feathers are almost fully developed.

In case of nestlings or hatchlings, the recommended course of action is to put them safely back into their nest. The slightly bigger fledglings jump out of their nests themselves to learn how to fly, search for food and avoid predators. It is strongly advised to not interact with a fledgling since it has now left its nest and is at an imperative stage of learning. Putting a fledgling back in its nest hampers the basic skills it needs to survive in the wild. Though it is natural instinct for many of us to lend a hand of assistance to a small animal that appears to be in need of help, we have to let nature take its course.

Mammals’ Call for Help

Wildlife SOS often encounters baby animals caught in adverse situations amidst urban settings. In addition to baby birds, a significant portion of these rescues involve mammals such as infant monkeys, baby squirrels and even calves of other mammals.

In one such case, the Wildlife SOS Rapid Response Unit rushed to rescue a baby rhesus macaque monkey from Kamraj Marg near Udyog Bhavan, who was found to be ill. In another instance this year in May, Wildlife SOS and the Delhi Fire Service responded to a rare emergency. A monkey’s offspring was stuck on a barbed wire fence over the boundary wall of a building in Mithapur area of Delhi. After a collaborative effort, the baby was rescued and reunited with its mother.

A baby rhesus macaque stuck on a barbed wire fence. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS]

However, this rescue stood out due to the compassion of the citizens. While concerned passers-by noticed the baby monkey’s predicament and reported the incident to the Wildlife SOS rescue helpline, the Delhi Fire Service also intervened with their resources. To save the infant, the Wildlife SOS rescuer judiciously mounted the department’s firefighting truck to reach the barbed wire fence.

The rescue member then had to disentangle the baby monkey with utmost precision so as to not harm it. Fortunately, the young one was found to be healthy and without any injuries. The mother was soon spotted nearby waiting patiently, and in a heartwarming moment, the baby macaque was finally reunited with her!

In September 2022, concerned passers-by spotted an injured infant monkey on Motilal Nehru Marg in Delhi’s Lutyens area and alerted the police. The Wildlife SOS team was informed about the situation and discovered that the monkey had sustained an injury on its leg. Exercising utmost precaution, the rescuers carefully transferred the animal to a transit facility for medical observation and treatment.

This baby squirrel was found near an air-conditioner of a house in Ghaziabad. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Kunal Malhotra]

In an incident concerning another commonly found species, a resident of Chander Nagar in Ghaziabad reached out to Wildlife SOS after spotting a baby squirrel inside their house while cleaning an air-conditioner. The kit was possibly abandoned by the mother, and the compassionate caller informed our rescue hotline to seek help.

Snakes Find Respite

With over 20 species found in Delhi-NCR, snakes are one of the most commonly rescued animals by our team. So it’s no surprise to come across cases involving rescues of baby snakes. Last year, in the month of October, employees of a Bank of Baroda branch received an unexpected visitor in their toilet – a spectacled cobra (also known as an Indian cobra). After the rescue team discovered that a young cobra was cooped up in one corner of the toilet, they safely extricated it.

Last year, Wildlife SOS rescued a baby Indian rat snake from Forest Lane, Sainik Farm from inside a residential property. Our team also rescued a juvenile Black-headed royal snake from the store room of Handicapped Welfare Federation, a school for physically challenged students in Madhu Vihar. This year too, our team came to the rescue of a black-headed royal snakelet from the DM office in Daryaganj.

A black-headed royal snakelet was rescued from the DM office in Daryaganj. [Photo (c) Wildlife SOS/Nikhil Bisht]

Our rescuers have intervened at crucial moments to save the lives of various infant animals. This has been possible due to timely calls by considerate citizens residing in the capital. In case you spot any animal or its baby in distress, we encourage you to reach out to professionals who can carry out rescues with utmost expertise. The Wildlife SOS team comprises highly skilled rescuers who can carefully manage animals. 

If you are in the following cities and have sighted animal caught in an unpleasant scenario, you can contact the following helpline numbers:

Delhi-NCR: +91-9871963535

Agra: +91-9917109666

Vadodara: +91-9825011117

Jammu and 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