This content is not available in your region

Birds are falling from the sky as severe heatwave scorches India

Birds are falling from the sky as a result of a heatwave in India.
Birds are falling from the sky as a result of a heatwave in India.   -   Copyright  AMIT DAVE/REUTERS
By Maeve Campbell  with Reuters

Rescuers in India's western Gujarat state are picking up dozens of exhausted and dehydrated birds dropping from the sky as a scorching heatwave dries out water sources in the state's biggest city.

Large swathes of South Asia are drying up in the hottest pre-summer months in recent years, prompting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to warn of rising fire risks.

Doctors in an animal hospital managed by non-profit Jivdaya Charitable Trust in Ahmedabad said they have treated thousands of birds in the last few weeks, adding that rescuers bring dozens of high flying birds such as pigeons or kites everyday.

Health officials in Gujarat have asked animal hospitals to set up special wards for heat stroke.
AMIT DAVE/REUTERS
Birds are being rescued as they fall to their deaths in India.AMIT DAVE/REUTERS
AMIT DAVE/REUTERS
Vets are working hard to save the birds.AMIT DAVE/REUTERS

"This year has been one of the worst in the recent times. We have seen a 10 per cent increase in the number of birds that need rescuing," Manoj Bhavsar, who works closely with the trust and has been rescuing birds for over a decade in India.

Animal doctors at the trust-run hospital were seen feeding birds multi-vitamin tablets and injecting water into their mouths using syringes on Wednesday this week.

Health officials in Gujarat have issued advisories to hospitals to set up special wards for heat stroke and other heat-related diseases due to the rise in temperatures.