Every year, thousands of flamingos fly into various parts of Mumbai from all over the world. Talawe wetlands in Navi Mumbai is a lesser known pocket of wilderness, with high rise buildings on one side and mangroves on the other.
These birds are white and grey when they arrive and get the reddish-pink tinge they are known for, as they feed on algae and invertebrates rich in the pigment beta-carotene, the same pigment which gives carrots their orange colour.
Talawe wetland was slated to become a golf course and residential complex, but was saved due to efforts of local residents who campaigned and won a battle in court to preserve the natural flamingo habitat.
There are wildernesses in our cities, near our homes, waiting to be explored, and pleading for protection. But for every urban wilderness that receives protection, there are ten others that lose out to urban development projects.