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In Pictures: Treating Delhi's birds of prey
Two brothers save and care for injured predatory birds at shelter which is one of the few in Indian capital.
Last updated: 06 Jun 2014 10:06
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Pieces of rotting meat strewn all over the ground with hundreds of injured predatory birds fluttering around - this is the scene from a shelter for birds of prey or raptors in India's capital, New Delhi.

Two brothers Nadeem Shahzad, 36, and Mohammad Saud, 32, are on a mission to save the city's wild birds of prey such as kites, owls, vultures, eagles and falcons through their organization, Wildlife Rescue

There are not many places that the carnivorous birds can get treated at as many bird hospitals in the city do not tend to them due to religious reasons.

"The thought of saving these birds of prey came when we found an injured black kite and took it for treatment to a Jain Bird Hospital in old Delhi," Shahzad said.

"They refused to take in the bird saying that we do not treat birds that eat meat. We decided that we had to do something for raptors in the city and hence we started our bird rescue centre in 2003 at the rooftop of our house in old Delhi."

Their private phone number, which acts as the helpline number for birds in distress, was circulated by word of mouth, and soon they were receiving four to five rescue calls a day.

Initially, the injured raptors were taken to vets but soon the duo taught themselves how to treat the birds by consulting veterinarians and from books. They have even learned how to stitch up their wounds.

When the number of winged patients increased, they decided to move Wildlife Rescue to a new location. 

Follow Showkat Shafi on Twitter: @ShowkatShafi


/Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera

There are currently more than 150 black kites, six Egyptian vultures, three barn owls and some eagles being treated at the Wildlife Rescue.



/Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera

Mohammad Saud tends to a black kite. The brothers have rescued and treated thousands of birds of prey since they started in 2003.



/Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera

Without any formal training in treating birds, the duo have learned to fix broken bones, perform complicated surgeries and even stitch up wounds.



/Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera

While the shelter has grilled fences on all sides, it has no roof and is kept open so that birds that have healed can fly out. "The ones that become healthy fly out, others stay behind," Saud said. "Some of the birds have been with us for the past six years." 



/Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera

Nadeem Shehzad, co-founder of the shelter, with an Egyptian vulture. The brothers' efforts have even been mentioned in the India-based Limca Book of Records. But Wildlife Rescue is struggling to survive due to high costs involved in running it. "Every day about 15 to 20 kg of meat has to be fed to these birds," Saud said. "Nobody wants to help in treatment of these birds. We do it from our own pockets and at times help from friends."



/Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera

It is all hands-on-deck in the months of May and August when Wildlife Rescue receives the most distress calls. "May is the nesting season of birds and many orphan chicks fall from their nests," Saud said. "August has to be the worst time for these birds, as people celebrate Independence Day by flying kites. These kites are flown using threads made of glass which cuts the wings of birds that comes in its path."



/Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera

One of the oldest residents of this shelter, this kite has been at the shelter for more than six years now. According to the brothers, the bird is healthy but it refuses to fly out.



/Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera

Initially when the shelter was started, the brothers would get the birds treated at a veterinary hospital. 



/Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera

There are three barn owls at the centre and since they are nocturnal creatures, the brothers take turns to wake up at night to feed them.



/Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera

The brothers said they hoped the government will provide them with land and funds to start a hospital.



/Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera

Even snakes that are rescued from snake charmers find place here.



/Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera

These snakes are released into the forests with the permission of the forest and wildlife departments.




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images:
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captions:

There are currently more than 150 black kites, six Egyptian vultures, three barn owls and some eagles being treated at the Wildlife Rescue.

;*;

Mohammad Saud tends to a black kite. The brothers have rescued and treated thousands of birds of prey since they started in 2003.

;*;

Without any formal training in treating birds, the duo have learned to fix broken bones, perform complicated surgeries and even stitch up wounds.

;*;

While the shelter has grilled fences on all sides, it has no roof and is kept open so that birds that have healed can fly out. "The ones that become healthy fly out, others stay behind," Saud said. "Some of the birds have been with us for the past six years." 

;*;

Nadeem Shehzad, co-founder of the shelter, with an Egyptian vulture. The brothers(***) efforts have even been mentioned in the India-based Limca Book of Records. But Wildlife Rescue is struggling to survive due to high costs involved in running it. "Every day about 15 to 20 kg of meat has to be fed to these birds," Saud said. "Nobody wants to help in treatment of these birds. We do it from our own pockets and at times help from friends."

;*;

It is all hands-on-deck in the months of May and August when Wildlife Rescue receives the most distress calls. "May is the nesting season of birds and many orphan chicks fall from their nests," Saud said. "August has to be the worst time for these birds, as people celebrate Independence Day by flying kites. These kites are flown using threads made of glass which cuts the wings of birds that comes in its path."

;*;

One of the oldest residents of this shelter, this kite has been at the shelter for more than six years now. According to the brothers, the bird is healthy but it refuses to fly out.

;*;

Initially when the shelter was started, the brothers would get the birds treated at a veterinary hospital. 

;*;

There are three barn owls at the centre and since they are nocturnal creatures, the brothers take turns to wake up at night to feed them.

;*;

The brothers said they hoped the government will provide them with land and funds to start a hospital.

;*;

Even snakes that are rescued from snake charmers find place here.

;*;

These snakes are released into the forests with the permission of the forest and wildlife departments.

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Photographer:
;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;
Image Source:
Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera;*;Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera;*;Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera;*;Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera;*;Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera;*;Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera;*;Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera;*;Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera;*;Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera;*;Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera;*;Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera;*;Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
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