New Delhi, Jan 29 (PTI) From rescuing an owl that got entangled in a kite thread to saving a cow which fell into a pit, Delhi Fire Services rescued more than 4,000 birds and 3,000 animals last year, officials said on Sunday.
Most of these rescue operations were carried out around Independence Day -- the traditional kite flying season in the national capital.
According to data accessed by PTI, firefighters in the national capital responded to 28,449 distress calls between January and December last year and rescued 3,354 animals and 4,182 birds.
Over 16,500 of these distress calls were fire related, the data showed. Eighty-two people died and more than 700 were injured in fire-related incidents last year.
According to the Fire department, April (4,140), May (3,362) and June (3,186) recorded the majority of these distress calls -- most related to fire, building collapse, drowning, bird and animal rescue, among various other assistance sought by different agencies.
The maximum number of such cases were reported around Independence Day when people traditionally fly kites and the strings get suspended from trees and poles, creating a death trap for birds, said Delhi Fire Service Director Atul Garg.
"Every life is important to us and our firefighters risk their lives daily to save the lives of others. According to our data, our firefighters not only take part in fire rescue operations but also go beyond their call of duty to rescue birds and animals that get trapped or entangled.
"Fire department personnel managed to rescue 3,354 animals and 4,182 birds between January and December last year," he said.
Most of the distress calls received by the Fire department were for rescuing birds such as crows, pigeons, parrots that got entangled in kite strings dangling from overhead wires or trees. The department also received calls related to cows, cattle, dogs or cats and reptiles that got stuck inside narrow lanes, closed spaces, and even in houses, pits, canals or drains.
In December, the firefighters rescued a cow trapped under a pit using a crane in Tikri, the Fire department said.
They also came to the rescue of a pigeon entangled in wires over Ring Road. An owl that was stuck in a kite's thread was also rescued.
In August, the fire-fighters rescued two birds trapped by kite thread in Shastri Park and an eagle stuck in the railings at Babarpur metro.
Similarly, a crow that had got entangled in a kite string dangling from a tree was also rescued. PTI AMP SZM