At least 60 animals, including one Olive Ridley sea turtle suffering from pneumonia and another with damaged flippers, were rescued by NGO Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare (RAWW) and the state forest department as incessant downpour and flooding hit Mumbai and its suburbs in the first week of July. Volunteers also rescued two abandoned peahens from Aarey, of which one succumbed, besides five electrocuted monkeys and two injured flamingos.
The animals and reptiles, forest officials said, had come riding with the floodwater into the city from Aarey and Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Most of the animals, they said, were rescued from Dahisar, Mulund, Ghatkopar, Vikhroli, Bhandup, Powai and Andheri, located on the periphery of the forests.
According to officials, a total of 310 birds, reptiles and mammals, including flamingos, pythons, peahens, monkeys and turtles, were rescued from Mumbai suburbs between June and July. Several snakes were also rescued over the period, especially in the past one month, they said.
NGOs working in the eastern and western suburbs reportedly rescued more than 184 snakes, which include over 42 Indian rock pythons and 27 checkered keelback snakes. Fifteen Indian Rock Pythons, a protected species, were also rescued by the volunteers, sources said.
The specie, native to Mumbai, is protected under Schedule 1 of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
“The number of calls regarding rescue and spotting of injured animals increased after floodwater receded. It’s a very common phenomenon during the monsoon. As water flows out of these forests, reptiles and animals get displaced. Most of them are rescued from the eastern suburbs. In summers, we get dehydration cases, while in monsoon it is mostly displacement,” Pawan Sharma, president of RAWW, said.
In what is being claimed to be a rare surgery performed on a wild animal in Mumbai, the doctors at Thane SPCA conducted a bone plating operation on a jackal. “The animal was rescued in July with a broken limb. As it is a wild animal, the jackal broke the platting. Then a rod was inserted, which also broke,” Sharma said. After multiple surgeries, he added, the jackal’s front limb had to be amputated.