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Rescued camel gets a Valentine baby

Saturday, 25 February 2006 - 3:25am IST

Happy days are here again for animal earmarked for slaughter

A touching tale of resilience and survival went unnoticed this Valentine’s day. Five-year-old Kaveri, the pregnant camel rescued by animal rights organisations from being sacrificed during the Bakr-id of 2004 from a slaughterhouse in Dongri, gave birth to a female calf this February 14.


“I couldn’t contain my joy when I was told that Kaveri is pregnant,” says a jubilant Fizzah Shah Vice president of In Defence of Animals (IDA) who undertook the joint operation to save the camel along with JC Khanna, Secretary, Bombay Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BSPCA).


Kaveri, who was rescued pregnant, had given birth to a calf on Maha Shivratri the same year but it died soon after birth, as a weakened and impoverished Kaveri couldn’t take proper care of it.


“Shivaratri is again round the corner but its good news this time,” says Shah. “This is god’s way of reinforcing the right to survival of all living beings,” she says.


The camel that now roams free in the Kutch desert couldn’t cope with the climate in Mumbai. “Rehabilitation in a natural habitat for rescued animals is necessary because of space constraints in the city. Kaveri had developed severe skin rashes and other ailments because of the unfavourable climate in Mumbai,” says Shah, who sent Kaveri to the Mahavir Dham Pashu Raksha Kendra, an animal rescue centre at Mundra in Kutch. “Her woes didn’t end there,” says Shah. “I found that she was kept tied at the rescue centre, starving for food.”


She then came across Vihabhai Pala Bhai, a shepherd from the Rabari shepherd community of Gujarat who vowed to adopt Kaveri. “The shepherd has agreed to not sell or give away the camel to anyone and to take care of it for the next 100 years. She is now the queen of the desert and I have named her Valentine baby Pyari,” says Shah.

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