In summer 2017, some residents of Mumbai in India were shocked to see a handful of local stray dogs turn bright blue. Not quite believing their eyes, the townspeople decided to get to the bottom of the mystery. And, when they discovered the explanation for the dye jobs, the people were appalled. The doggies’ strange hue not only affected the strays, but had awful implications for all living beings in the vicinity.
Navi Mumbai – or New Mumbai – is a township in the city of Mumbai. It sits to the east of the metropolitan centre on the Kasadi River – a particularly industrial waterway lined with hundreds of factories for the food-processing, pharmaceutical and engineering sectors. Nevertheless, the area has long attracted migration from the rest of India, thanks to its good reputation for low pollution and high living standards.
However, in early August 2017 something peculiar occurred in the working neighborhood of Taloja that plunged Navi Mumbai’s clean living reputation into disrepute. And it all began with a small group of stray dogs. The vagrant mutts would often wade into the Kasadi to bathe, drink or search for food. Dogs had been doing this for as long as anyone could remember, so no-one batted an eyelid.