Saturday, December 14, 2013

Photography + Scanner = Scanography

A few results from my experiments with scanography....

** Photographs in this article are the property of the author. Kindly do not use them elsewhere **

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Pelican’s final journey

During an evening walk at Kukkarahalli Lake everything seemed beautiful as usual until I turned around a corner. The water was full of algae and a pelican was stuck in it unable to fly or reach solid ground.
I have seen how gracefully pelicans swim in water. But this one didn’t seem ok. Its beak and wings were painted green due to the moss. Should I help it, or call someone to pull the bird out, or was it just taking rest? Then it tried to flap its wings, but in vain. I called a journalist friend and a friend at People For Animals (PFA). Both initially thought it was normal for pelicans to stay still for a while when floating but after describing the scene both were convinced and promised help. Minutes later a wing of the Fire department dedicated to rescuing animals reached the gate. I guided the fire engine to the spot. The personnel wasted no time as one of them pushed the bird towards the bank with a branch and another wore a pair of gloves, picked up the bird and placed it on the grass.
By this time a crowd had gathered around thinking we might have found a ‘body.’ Once they realized it was a bird a few lost interest and left. The Fire personnel needed water but everyone was busy clicking pictures. I rushed to nearby tents set up by workers and requested water. A man was kind enough to give a pot of water and another helped carry it. The officers poured water on the tired bird and washed the moss out. However they didn’t know what to do next and had to leave to attend to another call. After 15 minutes the PFA ambulance arrived, picked the bird up and took it along for treatment at their shelter.

The bird was in safe hands. Once back home I got a call from PFA saying the bird was very old and tired. They had given it painkillers and fish and were doing their best to save it.
The next morning I went to PFA’s shelter hoping that the bird would have recovered. My friend there had a different story to tell though. At around 9.30 pm the previous night the bird ate one fish, stood up, tried to flap its wings, but threw up what it had eaten. And sadly it died the same night.
Our only comfort was that it didn’t have to die covered in algae water where it could have been attacked by a crocodile. It had a peaceful death.

Pony tale

One evening a friend, a senior journalist and I were on our way to a meeting when we spotted a horse lying almost still on the road side. It was a quiet residential area and the occasional passersby ignored the horse thinking it may be sleeping. We stopped the car and checked on the horse. It didn’t want to move and seemed to be in pain. My friend tried contacting a government veterinary doctor and I called a friend who works at People For Animals (PFA). Meanwhile the senior was petting the horse hoping that it may ease its pain.
After a while, a volunteer from PFA arrived with a vet. They got the horse on its feet only to discover that it had a growth on one of its back hoof. It was not able to walk. The vet gave it a painkiller and they called for an ambulance to take the horse to PFA shelter.
That night I got a call from PFA saying the horse was pregnant. She gave birth to a male pony soon. We were elated. We went to the shelter the next day to adopt the pony and the mother. They hadn’t operated on her hoof since she was feeding the pony and it was not a good time for medicines.
It is almost three months now and the pony is growing up healthy, thanks to PFA. And the mother, though limping a little, is much better. My PFA friend says he has named the mother and pony after me and my friend!

My friend wrote a news article on the rescued horse and the birth. We thought that the news would help make people aware that they too can and must help such animals in need and that PFA’s number will help them in doing so. But what we heard from PFA was the opposite. People had started calling them demanding that PFA take their pets (even healthy ones) as they could not care for them anymore.
And worst of all was that as many as 20 people had contacted PFA saying they were the owners of the horse and that they wanted to take only the pony (since it was a male). PFA however did not yield to their pressure and argued that if the horse was really theirs then they would not have left her to die.

It made us realize that we have a big role to play in changing the mindset of people and we still have a long way to go in achieving it.