In addition to street animals, Ahmedabad is also home to several indigenous wild animals, reptiles and birds such as vultures, owls, blue bull, jackal, monkeys, peacocks, eagles, bats, cobras, kraits, monitor lizards and rattle snakes. We try to do as much as possible for any injured wild animals, as the government wildlife department has no shelters or trained animal catching staff. However, we do not have the resources to deal with larger animals such as blue bull and so can only treat these animals on the road side.
The most common injuries sustained by wild animals are due to road accidents or during kite flying season. Owl and vulture populations within the city are also under threat due to injuries and lack of nesting sites. The number of vultures has halved in the past 7 years from 200 in 2003 to 100 in 2010. We are very keen to see these numbers increase again through rehabilitation of injured birds.
Nanu's mother was found dead by local residents after having misjudged a jump across a terrace and fallen several feet. Her 2 to 3 day old baby survived the fall and was collected by the shelter's animal catchers and hand reared. He was named Nanu as it means small or young and is now almost 3 months old and happily making mischief in the shelter.
Bhola is a very large Kankrej bull, an Indian breed commonly used to pull carts. As a result of being starved by his previous owner, Bhola became extremely aggressive towards pedestrians and traffic, seriously damaging one autorikshaw. Concerned residents contacted the foundation asking us to help. Bhola has now been with the foundation for 2 years and after treatment of an injured back leg and regular feeding is now a calm and friendly animal, loved by all of the staff.
Camels are widely used within the city for pulling heavy carts along the city's busy roads. Unfortunately most of the roads are very uneven and this can lead to camels tripping and falling and often being injured by the carts they are pulling, landing on their legs or backs. ASHA responds to any calls from camel owners, provides on the spot treatment and attempts to get the camels back on their feet.
During the hottest season (March-May) the temperature in the city reaches 45-49°C and because of this, many birds suffer from dehydration and weakness. They have difficulty flying and can fall from perches. Many bats also suffer in the high temperatures. The fire brigade helps by spreading water in the trees to try to maintain a cool environment. We also aim to plant more trees around the city for birds and bats.
Three dogs were attacked by annoyed residents of the city when they were continually barking at night. Acid was thrown over the dogs, killing two of them and leaving one with severe burns which staff members of the foundation are currently treating.
Another dog, who was hit by a bus, had to have a leg amputated by the ASHA foundation vets. The dog now functions very well on three legs.