Wildbuzz | Salute to the mother’s love | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Jan 23, 2018-Tuesday
New Delhi
  • Humidity
  • Wind

Wildbuzz | Salute to the mother’s love

punjab Updated: Aug 06, 2017 16:35 IST
Vikram Jit Singh
The treepie chick on Dr Bajwa’s table, as Saroj Chopra looks on.

The treepie chick on Dr Bajwa’s table, as Saroj Chopra looks on.(Photo: Vikram Jit Singh)

At the Government Veterinary Hospital, Sector 38 West, Dr Rajinder S Bajwa deals with a stream of patients. They vary from a goat bearing maggot wounds, a cow bitten by a mongoose to a pampered, pedigree dog suffering from stomach cramps. Sample this conundrum: a pet rabbit from Nalagarh growing fatter after a fall from the terrace even though her appetite was declining! Dr Bajwa has to quickly readjust his mind and bring to bear experience and a handy pharmacopoeia manual to deal with the serial variations.

A farmer once came with a cow that had gulped Rs 50,000 in Rs 500 notes after the bundle fell from his ‘kurta’ pocket while he was administering feed. An emergency surgery was conducted by Dr Bajwa to prevent the cow’s digestive juices from wrecking the notes and Rs 40,000 was salvaged! Take the case of a Rufous treepie chick, which fell from its nest in a park of Sector 19 A, Chandigarh, on June 10, 2017. It was rescued by nature lover, Saroj Chopra.The chick suffers from swollen joints, ‘curly foot’, lack of feathering and is a regular patient at Dr Bajwa’s clinic. Though the chick feeds well on fruits, dog foods, cerelac and vitamin additives, it also makes the little birdie prone to answering nature’s call without a qualm or deference to esteemed audience and venerable platform!

As Chopra put the chick down on Dr Bajwa’s office table last week, it promptly obliged with a neat, little pile with a wiggle of its cute bottoms. But Chopra, who wakes up every morning at 5 am before the chick opens its eyes for administering the first feed, is well versed with her chick’s habits. Within a few seconds, and with practised ease, Chopra whipped out a toilet paper roll from her handbag and cleaned Dr Bajwa’s table! Truly, a mother’s love. Salute!

The dead leopard cubs, with one of the killer dogs. As dog numbers evolve, are they man’s best friends or man’s worst fiends unleashed? (PHOTO: DHARMENDRA KHANDAL/TIGER WATCH)


Wildlife conservationists remind us that stray dogs killing human children don’t cause outrage any more. Neither does the fact of dogs routinely slaughtering chinkaras, cheetals and sambars. Dogs are, after all, adorable hangers-on of humanity and protected by law, moral pamphleteering and a minority of loud activists. But as dog numbers evolve, are they man’s best friends or man’s worst fiends unleashed?

The death of two leopard cubs, mauled by stray dogs, may open our mind to the deepening and widening menace: imploding within human habitation and exploding outwards into peripheral jungles to target the young of mammalian species and ground birds. Dharmendra Khandal is a wildlife conservationist, whose field work at Ranthambore National Park and buffer eco-systems has won him acclaim and awards. He brought to light the killing of two cubs at a village near Kailadevi Wildlife sanctuary north of Ranthambore on August 4, 2017. “The dogs were in a pack of 10 and mauled the two cubs. This was witnessed by the farmers,” said Khandal.

Removal of village stray dogs (not to be confused with wild dogs or dholes) from wildlife areas combined with more responsible and containing ownership is the feasible way to safeguard our dwindling wildlife.

An ethereal portrait of rain lilies, and (right) lilies in bloom at Panjab University. (PHOTOS: SUBHO MUKHERJEE & NAVTEJ SINGH)


Newspapers welcome rain with flashy photographs of a bevy of beauties giggling and wriggling under blossoming umbrellas at the Sukhna lake’s promenade. Nature celebrates with dainty blonde mops, or wild Rain lilies (Zephyranthes citrina Baker), that wiggle on leggy, green stems. Lilies need no gardener to tend them or vile, insecticide spray to shield them. All they need is sweet spray from the heavens to kindle monsoon’s glowing fires.

Keep your eyes peeled for these ‘lovely littles’ in unkept vales and ‘nullahs’ of parks. They can be observed at the PU’s Dr PN Mehra Botanical Gardens or the Chandigarh Golf Club’s roughs, flanking holes 2, 5, 15 and 16. Thankfully, government gardeners do a bad job of maintenance or else they would yank out lilies and toss them in that pauper’s grave: stinking dustbins. The very same ignominy scripted for God’s gift to music, the genius WA Mozart, in the climax cemetery scene of the Oscar-winner film in eight categories, ‘Amadeus’.


Recommended Section