City's firefighters on call for animals and birds as much as for humans

new delhi: With Independence Day around the corner and authorities already throwing around warnings and restrictions for kite-flying, the Delhi Fire Services here is the agency that is usually left dealing with the aftermath of such events, which entails rescuing birds and animals stuck in or hurt by stray kite strings.

According to the latest data, the DFS has attended to as many as 1,583 calls this year related to birds needing rescuing on their helpline number. "In each call, we have rescued birds. They were trapped in electric wires, trees, buildings," an official said, adding that kite strings are always harmful to birds with the sharp threads injure them during flight, many a time cutting through flesh and sometimes bone.

The DFS has attended to more 3,300 calls related to rescuing animals and birds this year till July. Last year till August, fire officials had attended more than 1800 bird rescue calls. As for this year's data, the fire department received 216 bird rescue calls in January, 204 in February, 226 in March, 222 in April, 198 in May, 189 in June and 328 in July.

During rescue operations, in some cases, the height at which these birds are trapped poses a challenge for officials so they use tenders with hydraulic platforms.

Meanwhile, with the COVID-19 lockdown leaving stray animals on the streets of Delhi to fend for themselves, the DFS data showed they received about 1,736 calls related to animal rescue in the last seven months.

Some animals fell inside wells, ponds, rivers. We regularly received such calls and our firefighters rescued them," said Atul Garg, Director (DFS). Another fire official said that in most cases animals fell in open drains. After rescuing the animals, firefighters take them to nearby hospitals for treatment.

In January, 252 such calls came through, whereas a decrease was seen in February with 199 calls. In March, they received 241 calls. However, since the lockdown was announced the number of calls for animal rescue saw a rise — 249 in April, 233 in May, 206 in June and 356 in July.

Since the beginning of this year, the Delhi Fire Services (DFS) has attended to more than 13,590 calls of various incidents ranging from animal rescues, floods, wall collapse, cylinder blasts and fires.

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