Cats, dogs, birds, monkeys… Asrar Khan Usmani has become in a few months the best friend of animals by achieving courageous athletic feats, climbing buildings to help animals stuck in places sometimes inaccessible. So much so that the young man explains that the inhabitants of his neighborhood generally prefer to call him rather than to solicit the Bangalore firefighters, because he knows better “communicate with animals to calm them” and thus, avoid them injuries.
In this video posted to Twitter on September 2 but showing another rescue scene, Asrar Khan Ousmani climbs a window sill to rescue a stranded cat.
“When I climb I don’t think about how I’m going to come back down”
Asrar Khan Ousmani learned rock climbing by watching videos of climbers on YouTube, and by observing how animals like cats and monkeys climb trees and buildings. His passion for martial arts gives him another string in his bow to climb tall buildings. But it is mainly patience and courage that can make these rescues possible, according to the young man, interviewed by our editorial staff:
There are some places firefighters cannot get to in Bangalore. Often they don’t know how to deal with an animal, and most importantly, they are not always available. And when I see something dangerous, I like to confront it. I know that sometimes I risk my life, and could hurt myself a lot, but I try to stay confident in my abilities. When I climb, I don’t think about how I’m going to come back down. In some cases, I just climbed, saved a cat, and then didn’t know how to get back down. I had to sit down, think about how I was going to do it. The priority is to save the animal, which must not be injured.
Firefighters do not know how to communicate with animals. If something goes wrong, the rescuer or the animal can be injured. When I climb, I stop at the animal’s level and say, “I can help you, will you cooperate to get us home?” So I can catch them, and they don’t do anything to me.
“Self-taught man finally hired at Bangalore veterinary hospital”
Asrar Khan Ousmani found his vocation in 2013, after having spotted an injured China. He calls associations, but no one comes. The animal remains in the same situation for several hours, moaning in pain. He then decided to take matters into his own hands and save the dog himself.
Since that day, Asrar Khan Ousmani and his school friends who lead him to the rescue scene and film his exploits, have become the guardian angels of the animals. By word of mouth he has gained fame in the neighborhood, and locals call him when an animal seems in distress. He usually takes the animals he rescues to the vet, a way he too can learn about first aid for dogs, cats, birds and more. This is how he learned to measure an animal’s heart rate, to check if it has any problem with its eyes or tongue. Thanks to his skills, he managed to land a job at the Cessna Lifeline Veterinary Hospital in Bangalore.
Asrar Khan Ousmani ventures into a well to save an animal. This experience is, he says, the most frightening that he has lived to save an animal, because according to him “there could have been a dangerous snake in the well”. Video posted on Twitter on September 2.
In a video shared with France 24 Observers by Asrar Khan Usmani, he is seen rescuing a baby monkey injured in his hand by electrocution. He then took the animal to a reserve for treatment.
Asrar Khan Ousmani (in yellow vest) intervenes with firefighters to save puppies that have fallen into a sewer after a heavy night of rain. Video posted to Twitter on August 28.
“I can feel the emotions of these animals”
Asrar Khan Ousmani also works with Bangalore firefighters and rescue teams to help endangered animals. As a volunteer with the Bangalore Rapid Response Team, he responds to emergencies such as building collapses and focuses on rescuing animals. What motivates him is how he feels through the animals he rescues:
Once, on an intervention[September82019whenabuildinginthesuburbofJPNagar[le8septembre2019lorsqu’unimmeubledelabanlieuedeJPNagar[September82019whenabuildinginthesuburbofJPNagar[le8septembre2019lorsqu’unimmeubledelabanlieuedeJPNagarpartially collapsed, Editor’s note], hens and chicks were stuck inside. There was also a dog and a goat. I had to approach slowly and methodically to be able to save them. We just went inside for five minutes to take out all the animals. I was in a panic, and I was like, “The building can collapse at any time, you just have to save them.”
I can feel the emotions of these animals. I can see in their eyes that they feel in danger, or that they have a problem. I can feel when I’ve done something right, that I’ve saved a life. Especially when it is an animal, which cannot speak, but asks for help, and no one has heard. Every day, I take pride in what I do, and I tell myself that I can do even better the next day.
Article written by Pariesa Young