Sunday, Sep 25, 2022
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75 Years Of India's Independence

We The People: Meet Mumbai's Birdman And His Feathered Friends

Pradeep D’Souza, who grew up in a family that adopted stray dogs and took care of sick puppies, is now the keeper of many fragile species, both birds and small animals.

Pradeep D’Souza, Rescues Wounded Birds Photo: Dinesh Parab

Controversy barked at him, but Pradeep D’Souza, dubbed the Bir­dman of Mumbai, never lost sight of his goal. He grew up in a family that could adopt stray dogs and took care of sick puppies. D’Souza is the keeper of many fragile species, both birds and small animals. He rises early, cleans the living arrangements for his birds and the animals, feeds them and applies or administers medicine whe­­re it is needed. His own house has the intense smell of a forest, where kites, vultures, barn owls, egrets, herons and bats co-exist peacefully with rabbits. His family works with him. Their love is their only motivation. Once, he saved a rare and gigantic white-rumped vulture, an endangered species.

He says that people are unaware, and unless they observe the avian world more, they won’t realise how kite-flying hurts our feathered friends. He sighs. He often asks for the help of authorities, and ends up having cases filed against him. No one desires to nurture wounded birds or animals, he laments. But he still hopes that one day, the authorities will share his concern, understand his agenda and together, they can restore the nature around his beloved city.

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