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Meet Aaliya Mir, Jammu And Kashmir’s Sole Female Wildlife Rescuer

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Meet Aaliya Mir, Jammu And Kashmir’s Sole Female Wildlife Rescuer

The only female wildlife rescuer in Jammu and Kashmir Aaliya Mir is a prominent name today in the region, known for her work in rescuing and rehabilitating wild animals for over 17 years. Aaliya recently received a Wildlife Conservation Award from the Jammu and Kashmir government for her exceptional efforts in the field. She is the first woman in the region to receive this award.

Aaliya became the talk of the town in the Kashmir region after her videos of rescuing wild animals went viral a few years ago. She is Kashmir Valley’s first female wildlife rescuer and is the program head with Wildlife SOS Jammu and Kashmir. Aaliya has been rescuing snakes, bears, birds, leopards, and other animals.

Becoming a wildlife rescuer

At the beginning of her career, Aaliya faced a lot of challenges as she was entering a profession dominated by men. Many people questioned her abilities based on her gender until they saw her rescue the animal.

But Aaliya’s team at Wildlife SOS Jammu and Kashmir never doubted her and always encouraged her at work. “There are difficulties everywhere, but it also depends on the team you are working with. I can’t be thankful enough to the almighty, that I have the best teammates and the working atmosphere was encouraging. The team did not make me feel that I am the only woman in the field. I feel blessed to have such a work environment,” Mir said.

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Aaliya is married to a veterinarian and this, she said, helped her explore the field of wildlife rescuing better.

“Every parent in the valley wanted their girl child to either become a doctor or go into teaching, it is considered nice for girls to go into these two professions and my family wanted the same for me. But fortunately, I got married to a veterinarian And through him, I got a chance to explore this field. I started to volunteer, and it seemed that I was destined to do wildlife rescue,” said Mir while talking about how she got into the profession.

Human-animal conflicts in Kashmir

Human-animal conflicts in Kashmir have been on the rise due to rapid urbanization and waste management activities. Aaliya suggested that instead of rapid development and increased tourism, sustainable development and eco-tourism should be adopted.

“The brown bear was a dream to see in the valley, but now you put out some waste outside and you will see a brown bear, why is this happening? Waste management is a failure as all wild animals get attracted to the waste. Leopards come as they see a lot of dogs near the waste dumps. That’s why leopards are roaming in cities and not jungles. We are doing multi-cropping in the paddy fields and that’s why wild animals like bears come to these areas,” she explained.

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