Line provides help for animals in wild
ISTANBUL – Demirören News Agency
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Turkey has a first aid line to provide support for those who encounter helpless or injured wild animals.
The Turkish Wildlife First Aid Line - 0850 203 09 93 – is open 24 hours a day seven days a week.
“People are calling us especially when they find sick, injured or orphaned wild animals. First of all, we are trying to get information about the animal species. We ask them to send a photo or we want them to identify some information about animals that they see, and we tell them how to intervene or not to intervene,” said wildlife expert Ahmet Emre Kütükçü.
For example, some big animals may not allow people to intervene, he said.
“Then we tell them to keep the animal under eye custody until the relevant institution in their region, which is the teams of the Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks. If this is a small bird or an animal that does not have risk of harming people, we provide basic information on how to catch it, put it in a box, keep it and feed it for a certain period of time.”
Speaking about the calls, Kütükçü said, “Particularly in the last month, which was the period when the offspring left the nest especially in metropolitan cities, there were many reports of gulls and crows. Owls are among the most frequently reported species in the spring. Their period of migration has recently begun. Thousands of storks now migrate especially through Istanbul. In addition, small songbirds are also migrating over Istanbul. Right now, we get many calls about them. In winter, we get calls about birds, foxes or jackals hit by cars on the roadside when looking for food.”
Kütükçü said that people sometimes called them about animals which actually do not need help. “For example, one of the birds that is mostly reported during the migration period is swift. When they fall to the ground, they cannot fly again. People think these birds are sick and call them. So the first thing we do is to leave the bird in the air from a suitable height. In other words, knowing the species of the bird makes us to determine the direction of the intervention.”
Stating that he worked for the wild animals before WWF Turkey and went everywhere in Turkey to help them, Kütükçü said, “We had a car to rescue them. We were helping many different kinds of animals. But for now, our line only works for consultation. We don’t have opportunity to go and intervene for them and to help their treatment. We inform people about the national park directorates. Of course, there is a serious deficiency in our country regarding the intervention of wild animals. There is a wide geography, many different species. We need many cars and teams.”
Although Istanbul is a big city, Kütükçü stated that it is very rich in wild animals. “At the moment, it is the migration period, and thousands of birds are passing over us. That’s why we put the line into operation, but the intervention tools and rehabilitation center are also needed.”