Mumbaikars, stop feeding harmful farsan to birds at Marine Drive

Updated: Dec 12, 2018, 19:02 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

mid-day follow-up >> Wildlife and environment activists concerned about citizens once again feeding unhealthy snacks to seagulls at Marine Drive

A senior citizen feeding farsan to seagulls at Marine Drive a few days ago
A senior citizen feeding farsan to seagulls at Marine Drive a few days ago

Citizens are back to feeding seagulls unhealthy namkeen and gathiya at Marine Drive and Nariman Point. The harmful practice had come to an end after mid-day reported on February 25, how feeding farsan to seagulls was not only ruining their health, but also making them aggressive.

Seagulls swarming here in such large numbers can also hurt the delicate ecological balance. Both, the BMC ward office and Mangroves Cell had said they would take action in the matter.

But recently, wildlife and environment-consious morning walkers were surprised to see farsan-toting citizens back at it on Marine Drive. "A few days ago, I was shocked to note that once again the feeding had begun. In a misplaced bid to earn some punya [good karma], some walkers are feeding the gulls gathiya. This is wrong. The forest department and BMC ward office should take action against the irresponsible behaviour of the feeders," said a morning walker, who sent pictures of the feeding to the NGO RAWW.

Pawan Sharma, honorary wildlife warden of Thane and president of NGO RAWW, which had raised the issue earlier as well, said, "Despite informing people that such feeding does more harm than good, and is also a violation of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, many individuals and groups continue to do it."

He added that his team will observe them and identify these offenders, ask them to stop, failing which, they shall be booked for violations. "Loving animals does not mean doing whatever you want to do; you must understand the needs of animals and act accordingly.

By feeding wildlife, we dampen their instincts to be independent, change their food preferences to artificial tastes, and interfere in the natural balance of the food chain in our environment. By feeding wrong things like this, we are slowly and indirectly killing them," said Sharma.

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