Deadly kite strings kill 150 birds in India

19 January, 2020 12:00 AM printer

SANAND: More than 150 birds have been killed by razor-sharp kite strings in an annual religious festival in western India that attracts millions of revellers.

Volunteers raced to the rescue of pigeons, starlings and storks but 152 birds died before they could be treated, officials said on Friday, reports AFP. Hundreds of others were injured in Gujarat and Maharashtra states after getting entangled in strings which are coated with a paste of powdered glass and glue to make them sharp in order to sever the strings of rival kites.

Harshil Shah, who works for a volunteer bird rescue group, said their centres in Maharashtra and Gujarat had received some 750 distress calls on January 14 and 15 when the festival of Makar Sakranti is celebrated with fervour.

“We try to lessen response time during an emergency call to save as many birds as possible but 20 percent of the birds have succumbed to their injuries after getting entangled in the strings,” he told AFP.

A bird rescue camp in suburban Mumbai reported treating injured owls, koels (cuckoo) as well as a squirrel.