Pollution in Mumbai– India’s financial capital, is turning dogs blue.
Residents were initially baffled after several stray dogs were found roaming the streets with bright blue fur.
A representative from the Navi Mumbai Animal Protection Cell (NMAPC), one of the animal clinics that treated the dogs, told National Geographic over the phone that heavy rains have since washed the dogs clean. In an email, Shakuntala Majumdar from Mumbai’s Thane SPCA also said they had caught one of the dogs and were able to clean it up.
While the dogs that have been treated are reportedly fine, their appearance prompts a number of questions, chief among them—how a bunch of dogs turned bright blue.
Activists say chemicals released by a dye factory are contaminating a nearby river.
Investigators say nearly 1000 companies discharge waste into the river, but they’ve narrowed down the dogs’ discoloration to a factory where detergents are made.
“I personally visited that site, and I saw that there is a dye company which makes blue color. That is getting fixed on those birds and animals, said Aarti Chauhan, an animal rights activist.
“This is an industrial area. The chemicals that gets mixed with water and that water they are licking, so definitely they will be having health issues like liver, kidney problem, vomiting, nausea,” she added.
MUMBAI’S STRAY DOGS
Dogs are protected by law in India. This past May, the government passed sweeping regulations that ended indiscriminate breeding and provided funding for necessities like food and shelter. In a country with a billion people and 30 million dogs, it’s a massive undertaking.
“They stay on the streets; they are sheltered by small business communities and slum dwellers; most gated communities hate them, but they continue to exist,” remarked Shakuntala Majumdar from Mumbai’s Thane SPCA
River pollution is also becoming more common in Indian cities. The Yamuna was filled with foam after rainfall in July.
It’s becoming easier to see the effects of pollution. Despite proper plans, industrial waste is still dumped in many rivers of the country, says a report.
Pollution is turning dogs blue in Mumbai. pic.twitter.com/FZmsI09jPW
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) August 21, 2017