The Urban Animal Project: Sheru (Cam 1)
Director: Nisha Vasudevan
Duration: 00:06:41; Aspect Ratio: 1.778:1; Hue: 110.657; Saturation: 0.034; Lightness: 0.428; Volume: 0.338; Cuts per Minute: 35.600
Summary: Cities are not “natural habitats”. However, over the years cities have become the spaces in which many animals have evolved; they are now the homes on which they have imprinted. The Urban Animal Project aims to document these species against the backdrop of a cityscape.
This is a work-in-progress which will be conducted in many phases, the first of which looks at land mammals in the city of Mumbai. Phase I delves into the reasons these animals are present in such a physical environment as opposed to existing in the wild. At the same time, it investigates what provisions are available for them and whether or not they are implemented. These laws are looked into with reference and from the point of view of municipal bodies, non-profit organisations, veterinary practice and the current curriculum, the meat and dairy industries, beasts of burden, animal trade and the role of superstition, among others.
Over time, The Urban Animal Project is expected to expand into marine life, protected areas within cities, birds, monsoon ecosystems and hopefully many other areas.
This set of clips have been shot at the dog shelter at the animal hospital, which is run by the BSPCA. They feature Sheru, the dog who was shot by terrorists at VT station on 26/11. He has recuperated at the hospital, and great care is taken to keep him comfortable.
Currently being worked on by Namaah Kumar, Reema Sengupta, Falak Mulchandani and Nisha Vasudevan. Each phase of The Urban Animal Project will be edited into short documentaries.
Bai Sakarbai Dinshaw Petit Hospital for Animals
The sign says "Rusty's Cosy Nook". Rusty was probably the previous inhabitant of the enclosure? Or maybe it is named after a donor's much-loved pet?
Either way, this blink-and-you-miss-it sign is a testament to human devotion to their animal. Yes, a dog is a man's best friend unconditionally. However, it is also true that many men are extremely compassionate and devoted to his or her companion, many years after he/she is long gone.
You'll notice that most of the other dogs live in twos and threes. Sheru lives alone as he tends to be hostile towards other dogs.
With humans, however, he is extremely friendly (having lived in VT Station for years, he lived off tidbits from commuters).
The enclosures are well-spaced out and its heartening to note that there's no over-crowding. Each dog has its space and sufficient food and water.
Sheru and Rex the three-legged dog are neighbours.
Sheru's big big eyes and large ears (he still needs to grow into them) make him particularly endearing, while Rex is as handsome as ever.
Sheru isn't usually aggressive - but never disturb an animal in the middle of a meal :)
That is where Sheru was shot. He was rushed to the hospital by photographer Shripad Ranade, where Col. Khanna and a team of doctors removed the bullet and helped him recuperate.
"It was a miracle that Sheru survived the terror attack last year. A bullet had pierced him under the shoulder blade, made a six-inch hole in the flesh and got out from the other side. He had lost a lot of blood before admission. We believe he was reborn that day and we'll always celebrate this day as his birthday," said Lt Col (retd) Dr J C Khanna, secretary, SPCA.
When a dog is sterilized a part of its ear is nipped off to indicate that it has been neutered. The BMC's dog programme largely takes care of sterilizations of homeless animals with the help of several NGOs and volunteers.
Sheru is an older dog. He is playful, but not all the time.
Sometimes he is content to sniff the ground :)