Mumbai: Mangrove cell warns against feeding seagulls at Marine Drive
State Mangroves Cell to put up boards warning walkers at Marine Drive against feeding junk food to seagulls there
People feeding seagulls at Marine Drive. Image/File pic
Stop feeding namkeen and gatthiyaa to seagulls and other birds at Nariman Point, it harms their health: the State Mangroves Cell now plans to set this message… no, not in stone, but at least with paint on a board.
After mid-day's report on February 25, on morning walkers feeding the birds savoury snacks by the bagfuls at Marine Drive and further up at Nariman Point, and forest department receiving complaints about the same, the cell has decided to take the step. Senior officials from the mangroves cell said the best they can do is try to make people aware in this manner, because they can't take action as the wildlife protection act doesn't have anything specific mentioned against the feeding.
Girgaum resident Sunita Karekar, a regular morning walker at Marine Drive who had clicked pictures of some morning walkers feeding junk food to seagulls, said, "On Monday, when I went for a walk, I was pleasantly surprised to see that no one was feeding the birds. This means mid-day's story was read by those who had been doing that and made the right impact."
She also told mid-day that in order to make sure people don't feed the seagulls, authorities need to visit the spot and educate walkers about the negative impact of such food on the birds' health. Honorary Wildlife Warden of Thane and president of NGO RAWW Pawan Sharma said, "We are helping the Mangroves Cell in designing the boards; we think these will help in spreading awareness. The forest department too plans to deploy its staff at certain locations to interact with walkers and make them aware.
"We will start a larger campaign soon to urge people to stop such activities, which are done in good faith but do more harm than good." A senior forest department official said, "We can't register an offence against anyone feeding the birds, but we can at least educate people about the negative impact of feeding junk food to the birds."
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