SANAND, India: More than 150 birds have been killed by razor-sharp kite strings in an annual religious festival in western India that attracts millions of revellers.
Volunteers raced to the rescue of pigeons, starlings and storks but 152 birds died before they could be treated, officials said Friday (Jan 17).
Hundreds of others were injured in Gujarat and Maharashtra states after getting entangled in strings which are coated with a paste of powdered glass and glue to make them sharp in order to sever the strings of rival kites.
Harshil Shah, who works for a volunteer bird rescue group, said their centres in Maharashtra and Gujarat had received some 750 distress calls on Jan 14 and Jan 15 when the festival of Makar Sakranti is celebrated with fervour.
"We try to lessen response time during an emergency call to save as many birds as possible but 20 per cent of the birds have succumbed to their injuries after getting entangled in the strings," he told AFP.
A bird rescue camp in suburban Mumbai reported treating injured owls, koels (cuckoo) as well as a squirrel.
AFP images showed a volunteer trying to rescue a painted stork from the top of a tree in Gujarat's Sanand district.
In Surat, emergency calls were made after revellers were injured while chasing loose kites or falling from rRead More – Source