Aaliya Mir, a Kashmiri woman has led many successful rescue operations. She has rescued dozens of animals including snakes, bears, birds and leopards. She has also saved many poisonous snakes from the residences of former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.
Mir rescued two bear cubs a couple of years when they were separated from their mother and had accidentally gone to Srinagar’s Botanical Garden. Mir and her team initiated a mission to reunite the cubs with their mother. She recorder cubs’ voices and then amplified it near the forest to attract the mother’s attention but it didn’t work. At last, Mir and her team had to shift both the animals to Dachigam National Park, where they feed them milk until they reached adulthood.
Mir was born in the Wazir Bagh area of Srinagar city and is a mathematician by education. She says that she always felt affectionate towards animals but never knew that her whole job could be dedicated to it. Once she got her degree, she started teaching in a school in Srinagar for a few months.
Later, she got married to a veterinarian who has largely contributed to animal welfare and problems concerning wild animals. She told Mongabay-India that for the past 13 years, her interest in helping wildlife has increased only and she enjoys her work very much. She said that we have to adopt an optimistic approach towards the conservation of wildlife in Kashmir.
She said that what gives her hope is the growing interest of the younger generation in wildlife conservation. She has high hopes from the younger generation as she believes that the youth understand the importance of wildlife and wants to conserve it. She often talks with young students in training sessions in various schools and colleges to motivate them towards wildlife conservation.
She says that if we want to conserve nature then the entire population has to participate in conserving nature. Being a woman, sometimes she also has to witness sexist remarks as people think that she is too weak to handle wild animals.