Dozens of dehydrated birds are falling from the sky every day in India’s western Gujarat state as the country’s scorching heat wave dries up water sources.
In response, veterinary doctors and animal rescuers are feeding birds multi-vitamin tablets and injecting water into their mouths using syringes.
Large swathes of South Asia are drying up in the hottest pre-summer months in recent years, prompting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to warn of rising fire risks.
Scientists have linked the early onset of an intense summer to climate change.
Thousands of birds have been treated in the past few weeks with rescuers bringing in dozens of birds such as pigeons or kites every day, say doctors in an animal hospital in the city of Ahmedabad.
Manoj Bhavsar, who works closely with non-profit Jivdaya Charitable Trust which manages the hospital, said: “This year has been one of the worst in recent times. We have seen a 10% increase in the number of birds that need rescuing”.
Health officials in Gujarat have advised hospitals to set up special wards for heat stroke and other heat-related conditions due to the rise in temperatures.
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India suffered its hottest March in more than 100 years and April saw many places, including New Delhi, recording unusually high temperatures in excess of 40C (104F) on most days.
Since late March, more than two dozen people have died of suspected heat strokes and power demand has hit multi-year highs.