KL NEWS NETWORK
In a rare event, a Srinagar based NGO Thursday rescued a vulture that was found on the banks of Dal Lake. The “unusual looking bird” was discovered by a group of concerned passer-by who on seeing that it was struggling to fly, immediately alerted Wildlife SOS.
“A three member rescue team was promptly dispatched to the location and upon arrival, identified the bird as a Himalayan Griffon Vulture (Gyps himalayensis). This large raptor is found along the Himalayas and the adjoining Tibetan Plateau. This species is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and is listed as Near Threatened in the IUCN Red Data list,” a statement issued by the NGO said.
“The vulture was safely transferred to the organisation’s rescue centre in Dachigam where a Wildlife Protection Department veterinarian conducted a full medical examination which revealed that it was blind from one eye and was extremely weak from dehydration and starvation. Fortunately, there were no signs of any physical injury and after keeping it under observation for a few days; it was released in Dachigam National Park, in the presence of the Wildlife Warden of Dachigam,” the statement added.
Aaliya Mir, Wildlife SOS Project Officer said, “The bird was suffering from weakness and dehydration because which it was unable to fly but we were relieved to find that the bird had not sustained any physical injuries. Once the vulture had fully recovered its strength under our care, we decided to release it back into the wild.”
Tahir Shawl, Wildlife Warden of Dachigam said, “Wildlife SOS alerted us of the incident following which a veterinarian from the Wildlife Protection Department rushed to conduct a medical examination on the distressed vulture. The Himalayan Griffon vulture inhabits high mountainous regions and the Dachigam National Park is home to a fair population of this species.”
Pertinent to mention, Wildlife SOS is “one of the largest” rescue & conservation charities in South Asia. They operate ten wildlife rehabilitation facilities across India, including the world’s largest Sloth Bear Rescue Centre and the recently established Elephant Conservation and Care Centre that currently houses 21 rescued elephants. Wildlife SOS runs tribal rehabilitation projects that aim to create alternative livelihoods for poachers and other indigenous communities that used to exploit wildlife for livelihoods. Additionally, they run a leopard rescue centre, a Wildlife Hotline in New Delhi and ‘Forest Watch’ which is an anti-poaching wildlife crime enforcement unit.