A number of blue dogs have been spotted near Navi Mumbai’s Taloja industrial area, in India, and initial reports that untreated industrial waste dumped into the nearby Kasadi River may be to blame.
Remember Huckleberry Hound, the adorable cartoon character created by Hanna/Barbera? He was a blue dog, but no one seem to find that weird. Then again, he was only a fictional cartoon character, whereas the blue dogs of Navi Mumbai are very real, which makes their unusual color a lot more disturbing. Photos and videos of several canines whose fur had turned bright blue went viral all around the world a couple of days ago, leaving people scratching their heads as to whether they had been doctored. Unfortunately, the Navi Mumbai Animal Protection Cell soon confirmed that blue dogs actually exist in Mumbai, and are the cause of excessive pollution.
“It was shocking to see how the dog’s white fur had turned completely blue,” said Arati Chauhan, who runs the Navi Mumbai Animal Protection Cell. “We have spotted almost five such dogs here and have asked the pollution control board to act against such industries.”
Apparently, strays often wade into the Kasadi River for food, and come into contact with whatever pollutants are in the water. The Taloja area is home to approximately a thousand pharmaceutical, food and engineering factories, some of which dump all kinds of chemicals into the river. In this particular case, a company was using blue dye for multiple purposes, including making detergents, but according to the local pollution control board, it was doing in an area cordoned off from the public.
“The area is already cordoned off to the public and is in close proximity of the private company. However, five to six dogs entered the site looking for food and got the blue colour on them,” Jayavant Hajare, sub-regional officer, MPCB Navi Mumbai, told Hindustan Times. “We have warned the company owners to ensure no animals can enter again and such an incident should not be repeated.”
“We have given the company seven days to clear the pollutants from the site. If it is not removed then we will issue a notice,” Hajare added.
“We have only spotted blue dogs so far. We do not know if birds, reptiles and other creatures are affected or if they have even died owing to the dye discharged into the air,” Arati Chauhan said, adding that his animal protection cell has already filed a complaint with the pollution control board.
Believe it or not, this is not the first time blue dogs have been spotted in Mumbai. Back in 2013, blogger Chelsea Rudman also posted photos of a couple of dogs with blue fur, in Dharavi. A dye factory was to blame then, as well.
Photo: Chelsea Rudman