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HindustanTimes Tue,15 Apr 2014

NGO rescues hawks injured by Chinese strings

Shaheen P Parshad, Hindustan Times  Amritsar, March 07, 2013
First Published: 22:30 IST(7/3/2013) | Last Updated: 22:31 IST(7/3/2013)

The deadly Chinese brand plastic kite string, which has caused a few deaths in the city in the past besides causing several accidents, could have become the nemesis of four birds, belonging to a rare species of hawks, had the volunteers of environmental NGO Missionaries Khudai Khidmatgaran not stepped in to rescue them. The NGO has handed over the injured birds to officials of the divisional forest office to ensure that they are taken care of well.

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Prakash Singh Bhatti, president of the NGO, said even as the government is mulling ways and means to preserve vultures, the Chinese-brand kite string was posing a threat to many a rare species of birds. Winged creatures get entangled in the string, which are stuck in trees and the civic authorities are not sparing a thought over the problem and hardly taking action against sellers and buyers of the string, Bhatti said.

"We found these rare birds in an injured condition. They were caught in the Chinese kite strings entangled between trees and some electric poles," Bhatti said.

He added that even as rescuing trapped birds from trees and electric poles was a major challenge for them, the NGO volunteers devised ways and means to rescue hawks and other birds.

Giving details, Bhatti said in the past two years (2011 to 2013), the NGO has rescued 17 hawks, 12 warblers, 180 pigeons and innumerable number of crows from Chinese kite strings entangled in trees, electricity poles, telephone wires and television cables.
He said the rescued birds had suffered injuries on their wings because of which they were unable to fly.

"The forest department officials are sympathetic towards the cause, but till now it is only our NGO that has been rescuing these birds," Bhatti said. He urged the public to support their cause by calling up at 97809-08714 if they come across a bird entangled in a Chinese kite string.

Divisional forest officer NS Randhawa, however, said the injured birds were doing fine. He added that as of now, there was no proposal to use these hawks for the purpose of breeding. "These hawks do belong to a rare species as they are not spotted commonly here," said Randhawa.

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