For many, Yusuf Pathan buying exotic parrots in Bangalore this week may have come as a surprise. But the explosive Indian lower order batsman, who shows scant mercy towards opposing bowlers, not only has a passion for pets but is also doing his bit for the rescue and rehabilitation of abandoned and injured animals.
Pathan houses a few horses, an imported goat and a couple of parrots at his residence in Baroda and has been building a special shelter for pets at his farm house in Nadial, 45 kilometres from Ahmedabad.
The hard-hitting batsman does not want to stop with just indulging in his but also wants to contribute to the well-being of domestic and wild animals.
“Apart from the pets he has collected so far, he has also adopted a few dogs and horses we have rescued,” said Snehal Bhavsar of the Gujarat Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, an NGO Pathan is associated with.
The association began six years ago when the cricketer used to visit the pet food shop run by Bhavsar’s husband. That was when he got interested in the work she was doing.
“In the beginning I thought it (his interest) was just lip service when he told me that visuals of bird culling on television due to bird flu hurt him. “But a few days later when I happened to go to his place, I mentioned to him about an open air chicken shop just on the way to his house,” Bhavsar said. “I never saw that shop again.”
“Now he has even offered us space at his Baroda residence to build a shelter for treating wild animals that we rescue since the space we have is insufficient to keep them all,” she adds.