Cyclone Mandous | Animal rescuers in Chennai organise feeding drives in Chennai, prepare for rescue calls

Animal rescuers are patrolling the city looking out for wounded or distressed animals; people have been urged to take in strays in need during the rains

December 10, 2022 02:15 pm | Updated 04:54 pm IST - CHENNAI

Animal rescuer Lionel Praveen feeding stray dogs at Marina Beach, Chennai, on Saturday

Animal rescuer Lionel Praveen feeding stray dogs at Marina Beach, Chennai, on Saturday | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

In the aftermath of Cyclone Mandous, animal rescuers in the city have been taking efforts towards the rescue of stranded animals and organising feeding drives for strays.

As the cyclone made landfall late on Friday night, animal lovers on social media were urging people to take in strays in their localities for the night if they were in need of shelter. 

Volunteers from Hope for Critters, a city-based organisation, said that from early on Saturday morning, they have been patrolling areas near the coast and are on the lookout for stranded or injured animals. “We started at Akkarai, and travelled through stretches on OMR and Kunathur on the lookout for animals that might have been affected by the weather. We are carrying out a feeding drive of strays there as well, and are prepared to attend to emergency rescue calls from all areas in the city,” said Kirthana Raamsukaesh, founder of the organisation.

Ms. Kirthana said that they spotted a lot of birds stuck in fallen trees, which they helped release. “As there were many more trees fallen beyond Mamallapuram, we went up to Marakkanam and released birds we found stuck,” she said. 

At the Marina Beach, where there are several stray dogs, Chenani resident Lionel Praveen, who regularly feeds them said that on Saturday morning, they went to check on the dogs and give them food. “So far, we haven’t found any animals with injuries and we will be going for another round of feeding them later in the day armed with medicines as well, in case any animal needs attention. In the morning, some dogs we fed were cold and shivering but thankfully not injured,” he said. 

Shravan Krishnan, animal rights activist who also runs the Besant Memorial Animal Dispensary (BMAD) said that according to their initial assessment of the situation, the impact on animals had been lesser than when compared to Cyclone Vardah. He said that over the next two days, they expect to get more rescue calls.

 “The calls we have been getting so far are mostly about birds. During a storm, birds will be disoriented, tired and unable to fly properly. The Asian Palm Swift in particular is what many people find stranded during weather like this, and they can be kept in a warm room and given ORS solution in a small cup. The birds will take a few hours to regain strength and then fly away,” he said. 

At the BMAD Shelter, Mr. Krishnan said that following the weather forecast, they had taken additional precautions to move animals there from areas prone to flooding and had secured tarpaulin sheets and other material which could get damaged.

Ms Kirthana said that they spotted lot of birds stuck in fallen trees, which they helped release. “A there were lot more trees that were fallen after Mahabalipuram and we went upto Marakkanam and released birds we found stuck,” she said. 

The Blue Cross of India campus as well, which has several trees as well as structures housing animals, did not suffer any major damage, said Vinod Kumar, manager. “We were prepared last night for rescues with a vehicle and a boat just in case. However, we have not received any major distress calls yet,” he added. 

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