It sounds unbelievable,odd and strange, but it is so true. A town in India has been discovered where mothers breastfeed animals with their own breast.
The sight may be a shock to outsiders, but here amongst the ‘Bishnoi’ tribe, animals are just as much a part of the family as their own offspring.
in the remote region in Rajasthan, a state in northern India, orphaned animals are are taken and breast fed by human mothers and it has become another way of life there.
‘These baby deers are my life and they’re like my own children,’ said Mangi Devi Bishnoi, 45, a housewife from one of the villages.
‘I feed them milk and food and ensure they’re given proper care and attention in the house like all my family members.
‘They are not orphans when they have us around, they have new mothers like me who offer them a mother’s feed for a healthy life.’
The tradition is done by the of the Bishnoi community, a religious group of nature worshippers, live next to jungles and deserted areas and often grow up playing with all sorts of animals, and in fear of none.
The Bishnoi community, which comprises of around 2,000 homes, have followed the Hindu Guru Sri Jambeshwar Bhagwan since the 15th century and religiously obey 29 rules suggested by their Guru.
One is the protection and love of animals and nature. They take care of the flora, fauna and protect the animals from the summer heat or potential poachers.
However, the deer is believed to be a sacred animal of the community and is given special attention.
“We are very protective of our animals, especially the babies. We are helping them. Feeding them is what they need. We are very proud of what we do” one of the villagers said.
Photo credit: vinood dave/asian press