Monday, May 31, 2010

An IDA Birthday Present!

Argho Bhattacharya, an active volunteer of IDA, chose to give his friend Abhishek something special for his birthday. Argho knew he loved animals, so along with some other friends, he visited our Centre at Deonar to choose one of our resident dogs for Abhishek to sponsor. They eventually chose the charming Taffy, pictured above.

Did Abhishek like his unique gift? He certainly did! We've quoted his letter below to show just how much he appreciates becoming the sponsor of this very pleasant dog:
(To check out all our wonderful Sponsor Dogs, please click on )

hii ma'am
I am so glad that i received such a wonderful gift from Ida.Taffy looks very cute and i am very eager to meet him at deonar center.This gift was very unique of its kind and i would like to thank you and my friends for making my day.Thank you once again for such a memorable gift and i'll favor this for a long long time.
abhishek (friend of Argho Bhattacharya)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

"Blossom" Kids Enjoying IDA Activities

On May 13th, the IDA Team met with 25 kids who were part of the "Blossom" group. This is an NGO that provides extra-curricular activities for poor kids during the Summer holidays. We met the children at the MNRoy Human Development Campus, where the children collect every day to learn and have fun. And that day they certainly did! From 3 pm to 5.30 pm they enjoyed doing puzzles, jigsaws, engaged in a card drawing competition and had a hilarious time acting as various animals.
With the help of a toy dog, we taught them how to handle puppies, how to groom them and take good care of them. We even took the help of the friendly neighbourhood stray dog, who sweetly stood in the middle of the kids for a petting session! We were happy to find that some of the kids were very knowledgeable about animal related matters. It's great meeting these little ones, and we also benefitted from the session.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hippos at Byculla Zoo

The hippos are housed next door to Shiva the rhino. We had visited the Zoo on a very hot afternoon and the hippos can be seen lying as low as they possible can in their pool. Like Shiva's, it is also made of concrete with absolutely no protection from the sun and with a completely inadequate supply of water - their plump sides can be seen protuding above the surface of the water. In this pool also, the water at that time of day, must be hot. This is pure torture for these 'water' creatures, who in the wild, spend most of their time fully immersed in cool, deep river or lake water, a condition that is most suitable for their heavy bodies and their most sensitive skin.

When they emerge from this pool, they enter their enclosure that is as barren and dreary as Shiva's. This is the main problem with Zoos. The animal is presented to the public in such a manner, that no one derives any benefit from the viewing. What would kids learn looking at animals kept in such pathetic conditions? It's as if these poor creatures have committed some sort of crime and have now been condemned to life imprisonment.
Most of the other animal enclosures we visited were as bad or worse than these. The Zoo is being re-vamped at a cost of hundreds of crores of rupees. Let's hope authorities start the re-vamping process NOW and change the lives of these suffering animals for the better.
Went to visit Shiva at Byculla Zoo last week. We are looking at him at 3.30 inthe afternoon. The temperature is about 35 degrees. Take a look at his pool; the only 'cool' spot in the enclosure. It is made of concrete. The big tree at the side probably in the past used to cast some shade over the water. Now of course, the crown of the tree has broken off and there is no shade at all. The water must be hot - what else can it be, open to the blazing sun all day long?
The rest of the enclosure is as bad. There is no sign of any type of enrichment whatsoever. In the wild, all animals are physically active and mentally challenged for many hours each day. No such luck for Shiva. He can only stand about, visit his hot water pool which has hardly enough water in it, come out and eat some grass, go into his horrible looking 'room'. That's about it. He's been here for over two decades, doing nothing at all and has been cruelly deprived of any companionship of other rhinos. The CZA would not allow a mate to be brought here, as the enclosure is only large enough for one rhino!! One would think that this problem could have been solved by expanding the present exclosure or finding him a larger one. Obviously, nobody bothered.
Now at the tail end of his life, at least the quality of his existance can be improved in some way or the other. We are going to try and convince the Zoo authorities to do something about him. Plans will be disclosed soon. Wish Shiva luck! It's about time he enjoyed some.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Flamingo Rescue in IDA Vashi

Mumbai is fortunate to have beautiful guests who visit us faithfully every year and can be seen at various sites on the sea front. They are the spectacular pink flamingos, a feast for the eyes when feeding in shallow waters or in flight. But would you believe it? The heat in Mumbai is so terrible that even flamingos, birds that spend the entire day on the sea shore under the open sun, are collapsing because of the unbearable weather conditions.

The bird pictured above was rescued by IDA Vashi after it had collapsed due to heat stroke. Dr. Pradeep Londhe and Dilip Pachpute are seen treating the flamingo. After two days, having made a complete recovery, it was released on the nearby sea shore.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Goodbye Dalmi

We lost another dear old friend at IDA Deonar a few days ago, when Dalmi passed away. He was very old and had been with us for many years. He was really sweet natured; one of those 'smiley' dogs, who loved to come up quietly and greet visitors to the Centre. Dalmi was a beautiful looking dog, a Dalmation, who inspite of his good temperament and nature, had been cruelly abandoned years ago. That was when he was fortunately brought to IDA. Some foolish person's deliberate loss was our gain. We all enjoyed the presence and company of this very pleasant dog. For some years now, Dalmi has also had a pair of Guardian Angels - very good people who have helped us to give him a full and comfortable life at the shelter.
Bye Dalmi. You made us smile and pat you very often and we'll always remember what a precious dog you were.