R.I.P Miss Holly! Regular Visitor to Local Bar & Restaurant- a PIGEON Dies of Starvation during Lockdown
Mangaluru: Here is a tragic end to one of the regular visitor to the Hollywood Bar & Restaurant, Kankanady, Mangaluru on Monday, 20 April 2020. Among the hundreds of tipplers who visit this watering-hole on a daily basis, there were also a few pigeons who would land on the roof or parking lot of the bar- and would get fed by the staff there- and among these pigeons, who would visit this place daily- there was one among them, which would walk close to the front or back-door of the bar- and wouldn’t move unless it got fed. And it became so familiar and friendly, the bar employees named it “Miss Holly”, assuming that it was a Girl, matching the name of the Bar.
While the nationwide lockdown may have cleared the country’s city centers of humans, thousands of pigeons are not self-isolating but are struggling to find enough food. The birds, which normally feast on tiny leftovers dropped by residents leaving cafes and takeaways, are now going hungry. It is learnt that Pigeons are very loyal to their local habitat. They will not leave the city centers and will starve to death if they are not provided with food. Since it is also the breeding season, many young animals will die in their nests if parents can no longer feed them, said a vet. Even though there are a few animal activists who feed these hungry birds, but they are so many, its hard to feed them all- and thus they end dying of starvation.
And that was the case of Miss Holly, who was found lying dead near the entrance of the bar- and Yours Truly who happened to notice this, brought it to the notice of one of the employees of the bar, named Harish, who was heart-broken to see this bird dead- because he had been feeding that particular pigeon, whenever he was on duty. “OMG, I can’t believe such a happy bird it was and used to visit our door every day, has died of starvation, after our bar was closed due to lockdown. Indeed sad to note that Miss Holly would be missed by us, when we open for business”. Harish lifted the dead-bird, and put it in a small box and buried it near the compound wall. R I P, Miss Holly-sadly missed.
Yes, it is hard to feed all these birds, including crows, which are in large numbers during this lockdown, but it is important not to let the birds die painfully. While many dog lovers, including Ms Rajani Shetty, who feeds nearly 300 plus dogs daily alone, (Ref:When No One Cares for Them, Ms Rajani Shetty Feeds Hundreds of Stray Dogs Daily during Lock Down) (Ref: Website Impact! Citizens Help Ms Rajani Shetty in her efforts to FEED Stray Dogs during Lockdown) are taking extra-step in feeding stray dogs, but it when it comes to feeding the birds, there are not too may. These birds which used to feed on waste from the vegetable and fruits market, but these days during lockdown they are not getting enough food. If you look around, ever since the lockdown clicked in, the number of birds flying around has decreased, either they might have died of starvation or moved to a different city or village.
A few dead birds, including couple of sparrows, crows were found dead in the Bunder two days ago. These birds generally feast on leftovers dropped by residents leaving cafes, hotels and takeaways. In the Bunder area, hundreds of birds used to pick grains fallen while loading and unloading grocery items- and also at Central Veg market- and now that Bunder is totally closed, and Central Market shifted, the local birds are struggling to find their food. The birds are struggling to find food as all the city’s eateries, including roadside food stalls, had closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Speaking to media, Dr Jayaraj-the Deputy Director of Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services, had said, “Some veterinary doctors have decided to procure at least 5 kg to 10 kg grains daily and place them where the number of bird is high. The resuming of fishing by traditional fishermen has helped birds in the Bunder area to get food to some extent.” He also appealed people to leave some grains, raw rice and water for birds to survive. Without food, birds eat whatever is available on the ground which is also harmful. From leaving a bowl of water on the windowsills in apartments to creating a bird zone in the compounds of houses, people can take small steps to help birds during this harsh summer “.
In conclusion, amid the lockdown which has witnessed streets getting barren and most of the markets being shut, Team Mangalorean urges citizens to take care of animals and birds which live on the streets and usually get their food from us. While we human beings are following different safety tips that are floating around to prevent ourselves from COVID19, we also urge people to think about those animals and birds which depend on us for food. While you cook please make a little extra so that you can feed these animals and birds . They depend on us, for sure. During this lockdown a lot of animals/birds who were dependent on us for their daily food are now going to go hungry. Humble request to you to put out food/water bowls outside your homes. From the safety of your homes, save some souls. Thank You!