The Wildlife SOS 24×7 rescue helplines were abuzz with concerned calls from citizens for rescues in the month of October. Increasing urbanisation and habitat encroachment have led to several animal encounters amidst human settlements. However, rising awareness among people has also led to an increase in rescue calls, thereby preventing human-wildlife conflict situations.
This month, the Rapid Response Units in Agra, Delhi NCR, Vadodara and Jammu and Kashmir were involved with a high number of reptile rescues. In one particular operation, a snake was found in the engine of a car, leaving its owner and the rescue team stunned! From saving birds in distress to conducting a peculiar rescue of an Asian palm civet, our on-the-go professional teams were able to arrive at the concerned spot right on time!
The Delhi Rapid Response Unit was overwhelmed by calls this month, reflecting the awareness among people who are becoming more concerned about the safety of animals. Wildlife SOS worked diligently to rescue 52 reptiles, 67 birds, and 45 mammals successfully in the month of October.
Snake species that were rescued in Delhi included 16 Indian wolf snakes, 17 common rat snakes, 11 Indian cobras, 3 Indian rock pythons, and 3 black-headed royal snakes. When it comes to birds, 36 pigeons were rescued along with black kites, peafowl, crows, sparrows, and common mynas. Some of these birds were found with injuries sustained on their wings, while others were stuck within the premises of buildings. Recently, the team also received a large number of calls concerning monkeys. A total of 32 rhesus macaques were found to be either wounded or dehydrated.
One of the most notable rescues in Delhi was of a 6-foot-long Indian rock python! A car owner in South Delhi was astonished to see the reptile slithering across his vehicle before approaching the engine, and was quick to reach out to our team. The Rapid Response Unit promptly reached the location to assess the situation. Rescuers then slid under the car in order to understand where exactly the snake was located. The snake was then carefully extricated. Once inside a breathable bag, the Indian rock python was handed over to the forest officials for its release.
October saw the most number of reptile rescue calls from in and around Agra. Timely alerts led to a total of 90 reptiles being saved, of which the most rescued species was the Indian rat snake, with the Rapid Response Unit effectively attending to 37 of them. Some of the other reptiles that were rescued were 8 Indian rock pythons, 21 spectacled cobras, 12 Indian wolf snakes, 6 monitor lizards, and 2 black-headed royal snakes.
Along with this, our team in Agra rescued 95 mammals this month, of which 61 were rhesus macaques. In one incident, a strange sight took people within an educational institute by surprise. A few staff members of the Anand Engineering College in Agra discovered an Asian palm civet trapped inside the power generator. Being aware of the severity of the situation, the staff immediately informed the Rapid Response Unit, and our team carefully extricated the civet from its location.
Our Rapid Response Unit in Vadodara responds to each of the numerous calls that concern animals in need of rescues. In the month of October, our team rescued 125 reptiles, out of which 59 tortoises were seized during a raid from illegal poaching and trade. The remaining reptiles included 45 non-venomous snakes, 18 venomous snakes, a monitor lizard, a crocodile, and a turtle.
Expert intervention ensures that every reptile rescue is carried out safely so that no harm is caused to the animal. This knowledge led to a call received by our team from Shandhali village near Vadodara about a snake trapped inside a 60-foot-deep open well. Understanding the urgent need for help, our Vadodara Rapid Response Unit that operates in collaboration with the Gujarat Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (GSPCA) immediately reached the location. Having analysed the situation, one rescuer was lowered into the well to carefully capture the snake. After a quick medical examination, the snake, which was identified as the Indian rock python, was handed over to the Gujarat Forest Department for its release.
Jammu And Kashmir
Our rescue team in Jammu and Kashmir is ever ready to address calls they receive on their hotline. The adept Rapid Response Unit here conducted rescue operations for 15 snakes in the month, including 4 levantine vipers, 9 Indian rat snakes, and 2 Himalayan trinket snakes. Along with these reptiles, avian rescues of a black kite and a white-throated kingfisher were also conducted.
Help The Animals In Need!
Wildlife SOS conducts several workshops, campaigns and programmes in schools, colleges and various institutions to raise awareness about the threats faced by many animals within the urban landscapes. Such sessions also guide people on the appropriate steps they can take to save the lives of suffering animals. Our dedicated Rapid Response Units ensure that each call on the 24-hour helplines is attended to, and that no stone is left unturned to carry out rescue missions. If you find an animal in distress, immediately contact the nearest wildlife authorities. You can reach out to Wildlife SOS’ Rapid Response Unit hotlines if you are in the following regions:
Agra, Uttar Pradesh: +91-9917109666
Vadodara, Gujarat: +91-9825011117
Jammu And Kashmir: +91-7006692300 or +91-9419778280