Archive for July, 2023

Another bonnet macaque - from south India.

The town of Harohalli is a 40 minute drive southeast of Bangaluru in south India. On May 10, 2023, a kind person took the time to stop and rescue a bonnet macaque there who was having trouble and clearly wasn’t doing well. She was brought to the WRRC (Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre) in Bangaluru, adjacent to the Bannergatta Forest.

There was an uncomfortable swelling on one side of her abdomen. She wasn’t just simply an overweight macaque because the swelling was only on one side. It looked to Dr. Roopa Satish like it might be an intestinal hernia.

At the nearby Zoo hospital at the Bannerghatta Biological Park, Dr. Umashankar and Dr. Vijay took an x-ray and were able to confirm that diagnosis.

Surgery and recovery

The following day, back at the WRRC Clinic, Dr. Roopa and Dr. Nirupama performed surgery, using general anesthesia, to correct the hernia.

All went as planned, the wound healed well, and there were no post-operative complications.

Of course, macaques love fruit and she was kept on a half diet of soft food like banana, papaya, and cucumber. Each day she got better and regained more of her strength.

In just 15 days she was back to feeling fine again, and as macaques tend to do, she removed her own sutures. On June 21, she’ll be taken back home to where she was found in Harohalli to rejoin her family and friends.

Good to go

Thanks to her kind rescuer and the skilled surgical intervention at the WRRC, she’ll be able to live a happy life now, active in the wild and free from pain.

Her condition had been serious. Initially, she may have suffered from a bite or trauma which tore the abdominal muscles, causing significant internal damage. If it hadn’t been corrected, as she grew older, she would have been very susceptible to serious intestinal problems that would only get worse with time. Now she is healed and can live a normal happy life of 20 to 25 years.

Bonnet macaques are native to south India. They are named for the distinct bonnet of fur on the top of their heads.

Dr. Roopa writes, ”We are glad to send her home in 41 days after a major abdominal surgery.”

Congratulations to Dr. Roopa, Dr. Nirupama, and all at the WRRC!


You can help monkeys like this and other wild animals at the WRRC with your donation. Thank you for caring!


By Sharon st Joan

© Forest Voices of India, 2023


Hulimavu, an area of southern Bangaluru, a city in the south of India, features luxury shopping, restaurants, and upscale homes.

A sacred site, the Hulimavu Cave Temple, is also located there. Inside a single giant rock, clean, elegant passageways extend though the cave and lead to areas of worship for three deities: Shiva; Devi, the Goddess; and Ganesha. The temple has been declared to be a 2,000 year old single rock cave.

India, of course, is filled with many thousands of extremely ancient sites.


Two baby birds

On the evening of June 1st, 2023, two small young baby birds (who, as far as we know, knew nothing of the ancient history of their region) unfortunately took a tumble and fell from a significant height on to the grass below their nest.

Two kind residents of Hulimavu came across them, but, at first, the people were not quite sure what to do to help them. Early the next morning, they thought of bringing them to the WRRC (the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre), and they rushed them there as soon as they could.

Dr. Roopa Satish examined the little birds on arrival, judging them to be about a month old. She found no external injuries; however, internal injuries could not be ruled out because they had fallen from a significant height.


Breakfast helps a lot

They were definitely hungry, and the two were fed banana and papaya, which they eagerly gobbled up. Soon they were eating on their own and making happy sounds. White-cheeked barbets make an energetic, repetitive call, which when they are grown up, resounds through the forest.

They live especially in this area of southern India, in the tall forests. Their main range is along the mountains of the Western Ghats. These birds rarely leave the trees, and they obtain most of the water they need from eating fruit.

Within two weeks the little birds were moved into a large aviary to practice their flying skills. It’s important that they have adequate space to practice so that they become strong fliers.

They flew well naturally and started flying with ease almost immediately.


Oops! Back to freedom, one way or another

As can sometimes happen with lively, active birds, one of them escaped when the keeper came in to put down their feed. They could see the escapee hanging around, almost daring his companion to escape as well.

Dr. Roopa writes, “Sure enough, in two days the lonesome twin in the aviary used the same old trick and escaped between the legs of the keeper who by now knew the shenanigans of the barbet.

This escape flight between a human’s legs is a very daring act for a shy timid bird like the barbet. The fact that both the twins managed it successfully fills us with pride for their skill and bravery.”

Soon, these brave birds will find their way out of the large area of the WRRC (where hundreds of birds and animals are cared for). They will fly into the large, deep Bannerghatta Forest, which is adjacent to the WRRC, where they can expect to lead their wild lives in freedom, eating fruit and singing their enchanting, happy notes for many years to come.


Photo Credit: WRRC Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre, Bangaluru, India

© Copyright, Forest Voices of India, 2023

It was a warm, windy day as Varaprasad walked along in the Jigani area near the Bannerghatta Forest. It is an industrial area dotted with occasional acres of grass and a sprinkling of trees. Looking down for no particular reason, he suddenly spotted movement in the grass. There, he was startled to see a baby bird in among the blades of grass.

The baby bird must have fallen out of its nest. He picked up the chick very carefully and looked up to see if he might see the nest in a tree. Unfortunately, the branches were very high up, and there would be no way to put the baby back in its nest even if he could find the nest. The baby seemed weak and exhausted, but not visibly injured.

Holding the bird very carefully, Varaprasad turned around to head straight for the large, enclosed area which is the wildlife rehabilitation center, where thousands of birds and other animals are rehabilitated every year. He is a local wildlife rescuer and has often brought injured or distressed wildlife to the WRRC (Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre).

Inside the Clinic, Dr. Roopa Satish examined the little bird. The young shikra chick weighed 125 grams. There were no visible external injuries. However, Dr. Roopa suspected internal injuries because of the height that the bird must have fallen, and because she was quite weak.

She was able to eat though, and eagerly gobbled down some food which she was handfed. She was very small and still had fluffy down feathers. Every few hours she was fed and had a ravenous appetite.

In a span of just three weeks, she transformed into a grown-up shikra looking very beautiful in adult plumage. If there had been any internal injuries, they had healed and she was feeling strong and alert.

By a happy coincidence, the WRRC, has, at the same time, another young shikra, around the same age, who will be put into an aviary with her. The two will be good companions and will be able to practice flying together, becoming stronger day by day – and getting ready for release back to the wild.

Because they have each other — and their human caregivers are very careful to respect them as wild birds and not interact with them, they will remain wild, will not become tame, and will be able to take up their lives again living free among the trees in the Bannerghatta Forest.

Shikras are accipiters – small hawks distantly related to sparrow hawks. They fly fast and are agile hunters. These are native to India and similar shikras are also found in Africa. They are beautiful, graceful birds – very lively, yet small enough to fly among the tree branches.

By Sharon St Joan


If you’d like to help these little birds and support charities in India that help the natural world, your donation will go a long way and will be much appreciated! Donations to Forest Voices of India, a 501 C 3 organization – go to help four charities in India.

© Copyright, Forest Voices of India, 2023

Photo Credit:, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons. The photo is of another shikra – from Bangaluru, India.

Kumaon Hills, Uttarakhand

Bird of the Day: Crimson Sunbird — Organikos

The Indian spectacled cobra is among the most common snakes in India. In the area of Nisarga, near the Bannerghatta Forest in Karnataka, south India, one of these was found injured on June 6.

On arrival she weighed one kilo (2.2pounds) and had a severe wound to her intestines. Though no one saw how she was hurt, it looked like the kind of accident that could have been caused by an excavation machine doing construction work. She might have been underground when it happened, so the machine operator would not have seen her.

When she was brought to the WRRC (Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre) in the Bannerghatta Forest, she wasn’t in very good shape. Dr. Roopa Satish first gave her shots for the pain, to prevent infection, and to stop the bleeding. Then the intestinal wound, which was muddy, had to be rinsed with a saline and antimicrobial solution.

The intestines had to be put back in properly, and then the tear on the skin repaired. A firm bandage was put on the snake. All this was quite exhausting for the snake, and she was placed in a clean vivarium with a heating pad where she could rest and recover in quiet place.

The cobra’s recovery

Because the wound was so serious and the intestines had to be given time to heal, the cobra couldn’t be fed for a while. She was kept on pain killers and strong broad-spectrum antibiotics and given fluids under the skin.

Two days after the surgery, she was beginning to look a bit livelier – even displaying her hood – which was a wonderful, encouraging sign.

Three weeks after the surgery, the wound was healing well, and the cobra is now on her way back to good health. It was an extensive surgery, and it’s good that she’s recovering so well and is on her way to being released.

She’ll still have to wait for one or two sheddings, which could take from one to three months before she can go back to the forest.

Then she’ll be able to resume her life back in the wild, happy to be well and free again – thanks to the skill of the doctors and the excellent care she was given by the WRRC.


By Sharon St Joan

The photo is of another cobra. Photo credit: Kamalnv, CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

© Copyright, Forest Voices of India, 2023