| The rescued wildcat. Picture by Amit Datta
Calcutta, Feb. 18: They ate his mother. Then they ate his sister. They would have eaten him, too, but Rs 50 saved his life.
He is a wildcat. Rescued on February 9 with a leg twisted out of shape, he first ‘spoke’ four days later. It was an indistinct grunt. For Love ‘N’ Care for Animals, an NGO working in and around Behala, it was all in a day’s work.
The yet-to-be-christened wildcat was meant to be had for lunch by a group at Nayahat in Behala on Sunday. Sonali, an activist of the NGO, was just passing by when she saw what was cooking.
After a few minutes of haggling, the price for the wildcat’s life was brought down to Rs 50.
Another act of “love and care” preceded this incident. A Siberian heron, with a gunshot wound and neck tied in a knot, was similarly rescued by organisation chief Susmita Ray.
“I had to coerce and even threaten them with police action before they agreed to hand the bird over to me,” she recalled. The bird is now with the forest department at its Salt Lake park. It cannot spread its wings anymore, but living nonetheless.
From langurs (Raja and Maharaja), who are now being taught to eat fruits and vegetables, to a cross between an alsatian and a labrador, which was left to die on the streets of Kidderpore by its owners after it fell ill, the list of animals, turtles and birds rescued from the jaws of death runs long.
But Love ‘N’ Care has now realised that only saving lives will not do; it is important to spread awareness among the “killers” to save even more lives. With that end in view, the NGO organised a mass-awareness campaign in Behala on Sunday. Another is in the offing on February 23.
“We are happy that people are responding to our efforts,” Ray told The Telegraph.
“People are keen to know the ways of other animals and that is heartening.”