New Delhi, Oct 8: In an effort to help wild animals in distress and mitigate human-wildlife conflict, Wildlife SOS has launched a 24-Hour helpline in Jammu & Kashmir. In the short time since its launch, the helpline has already rescued over 60 animals in distress!
With rapid habitat fragmentation, climate change and urbanization the wild inhabitants of Jammu & Kashmir are being forced to venture out of their natural habitats, often coming into conflict with residents of Kashmir Valley. To address the problems of wildlife conflict in urban spaces and rescue animals in distress, wildlife conservation NGO, Wildlife SOS has launched the rescue helpline.. Headed by Wildlife SOS’ only female rescuer, Aaliya Mir, the helpline has already rescued over 60 animals in distress!
The Gupkar area in Srinagar, a highly classified VIP area, is also the ideal utopia for vipers and trinket snakes due to its isolated location. Recently, the the helpline received a frantic call late at night about a 3-foot-long Levantine Viper in the neighbourhood. The Levantine vipers are highly venomous and can strike when provoked so the team had to employ extreme stealth and caution while extracting the snake. The viper was safely rescued and released back into its natural habitat.
In a similar instance, a 6-foot long Indian Rat snake was found in the living room of a residence at Pampore, a town east of the Jhelum river. The panicked residents immediately contacted the helpline. The rescue operation turned challenging when the snake moved out of the house and slithered into a narrow plinth beneath the house. After several grueling hours, the snake made its way into the cowshed of the residence and was carefully extricated from the location.
The Wildlife SOS helpline has already rescued 42 reptiles, 11 birds, including 1 grebe chick, 1 pond heron, and 8 black kites, since its launch! Recently, five juvenile Black kites were rescued from the Bemina region of Srinagar. The birds had crashed into a high voltage electric power line and and were in need of urgent medical care. A thorough medical check-up carried out revealling the birds had fractured their wings as result of the collision accompanied by the electric shock.
Aaliya Mir, Project Coordinator and Education Officer at Wildlife SOS, said, “Jammu and Kashmir’s biodiversity is unparalleled. Wildlife SOS works round the clock to rescue and relocate wildlife that is injured, in distress, or caught in conflict situations. We also conduct workshops and awareness programs to sensitize the public to the presence of urban wildlife and encourage peaceful coexistence.”
Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-Founder and CEO of Wildlife SOS, said, “Establishing a 24-hour helpline in J&K is a big step in achieving co-existence with animals that inhabit this rich and diverse valley. Organizations like ours are tasked with maintaining the fragile balance between urban and wild communities, and much of it is dependent on community participation. Our team is highly skilled in carrying out all kinds of rescue operations and ensuring the safety of everyone involved.”
If you come across any wild animal that is injured, sick or in distress, please alert the Wildlife SOS rescue team on these numbers (+91-7006692300, +91-9419778280)