According to animal rights activists and NGOs, this year the number of cases of injured birds has reduced greatly, thanks to the growing awareness among revellers that manja (thread coated with glass powder) used for flying kites during Makar Sankranti can hurt birds grievously.
"With the use of deadly manja going down, this year the numbers of birds being injured after getting entangled in the thread have gone down. But the number might go up by Monday morning," said Neelim Khaire, director, Katraj zoo. The Katraj zoo hospital, which had posted around 200 volunteers across the city to rescue and treat injured birds, had received just one injured bird - a kite - till yesterday evening.
The Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), which had deployed a vehicle with volunteers and four veterinary doctors who were equipped with a first-aid kit, treated around 15 pigeons, three kites and a couple of crows since Saturday.
"Every year, we receive about 70 to 75 pigeons and about 20 to 25 kites for treatment, but this year their numbers have reduced. Also, people have become lethargic in bringing injured birds to us," said an SPCA hospital official.