Birds in Gujarat fall victim to glass-coated kite strings

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Ahmedabad, Jan 13(ANI): Ahmedabad may have bid goodbye to the 20th Annual International Kite Festival, which was held on January 10, but with just a day to go before the Hindu festival of Uttarayan, the skies are still teeming with kites, and the colourful display has felled scores of birds.

Many birds have fallen victim to the deadly glass-coated kite strings, which are also known as 'manja'.

"The only thing that will save the birds is awareness among the people to fly less kites. It's not only during Uttarayan on the 14th that this happens; the 'manja' (kite-string) that is used gets entangled in the trees. When the birds enter the trees for roosting, their legs and wings are injured. We get some birds without wings," said Dr. Percy Avari of the Bombay Veterinary College.

The bird rescue helplines are proving to be the lifeline of the feathered creatures.

"This time we are putting a software to track the birds. People who were complaining were given a number for their bird. From there, they can log on and see the status of their bird," said Siddharth Jaiswal, a volunteer.

Meanwhile, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), an animal welfare body, has urged kite lovers not to use glass-coated 'manja'.

PETA has also suggested people avoid flying kites before 9 am and after 5 pm, as this is the time when birds go out in search of food, or return to their nests. (ANI)

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