On New Year’s Day, along with Usha for company, I headed out to WRRC (WildLife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center) on Banerghatta Road. I had been meaning to visit the centre for a while and decided that the 1st would be a good day to start.
First of course, I had to say hello to the rather handsome Saba at Usha’s place.
Most of our adventure was confined in navigating the awful 15 kms stretch to the Centre (ironically a.k.a. Banerghatta Road). This was my first exposure to the road and I must say I was shocked. I thought some of the city roads were bad. Now, I know why people complain so much about this particular stretch!
Anyway, since this post is not about roads let me come back to my topic at hand.
The Centre is situated a few kilometers from the Banerghatta Park. It is not easy to find and there are 2 approaches. We first tried one approach, which we had to abandon since there was too much water and I couldn’t quite put my Zen through the muck (it had already taken a bit of a bump). Finally, we took a detour of another 3 or 4 kilometres and finally reached WRRC.
The first guy to greet us was the handsome Tension who came and jumped on the window of the car and looked inside expectantly. A rather excited and friendly soul he turned out to be.
The Centre is run by CUPA and there are quite a few volunteers who also work here including Abhisheka who travels all the way from Majestic to work with injured animals. And how do you get from the main road to the centre, we ask her curiously. (It’s about a 5 km stretch). Oh, I walk, she says rather matter of factly. What dedication!
We also met Saleem Hamid*, who spends much of his time here helping injured birds, diseased animals and displaced reptiles. We watched Saleem in the monkey cage with some amount of awe. He handled the monkeys (all in stages of recovery) like babies. They climbed on top of him, pulled his hair, played with his keys, while he patiently went about cleaning their cages and feeding them.
Then he took us to the barn owls enclosure where about 8 of them are recovering after being rescued from the ceiling of a building. The owls are recuperating and will be here till they are ready to be released again. We managed to spot one, who gave us one long stare and then went back to his upright sleep position. The rest were all inside their special cardboard houses doing what they do best in the day : sleeping!
There were a great many kites circling the sky above and one of the folks there informed us that they were mostly ones who had also been residents of the centre at some point of time. They keep coming back now for food and some tlc!
A couple of baby kites were also recuperating in another cage after having fallen off their nests. I spotted one of the building roof and inched closer (difficult since they tend to fly off at any indication of movement). He sat there while and looked out for food.
One lone parakeet in a cage was showing off by balancing himself off the ceiling. Apparently, the parakeet has been suffering from mental stress after being badly treated by the previous owners.
Saleem and a couple of other vets attend to a large python which has stopped eating for a few days. It has been brought from the park to the centre. Usha shudders as she sees the size of the python. I think it’s a rather good looking specimen, but only from very far away and through the window.
Saleem and all the folks there do some really great work and help is always welcome, especially since everything happens through volunteers and contributions. Right now, the owls themselves cost about 600 per day to be fed and raised.
If you’re interested in contributing monetarily, you can get in touch with Saleem/Abhisheka or Smita. I have their numbers so drop in an email to anitabora5 at rediffmail dot com. Any help is most welcome.
*Saleem Hamid, an industrial photographer in Bangalore, is passionate about saving wildlife and giving sick and injured animals a second chance to live. He is a self-taught veterinarian practitioner and takes meticulous care of each animal that he handles. Despite his hectic schedule, he has set up a wildlife rehabilitation centre which he runs himself. He has specialized in working with confiscated reptiles and the management of traumatised and immuno-suppressed reptiles. In spite of being bitten twice by cobras, he continues in his wildlife rehabilitation efforts. His commendable work has made him a front runner in wildlife management and care in Bangalore.
Info courtesy: http://www.vmaaf.org/pages/awards_2002.htm
On the way back, On the way back, Usha spotted these beautiful pair of brahminy kites. They were perched on top of a tree rather high up, and this is the closest I could get.