IMPHAL, Sept 8 - A Blue Pitta, a rarely sighted bird in India, was rescued and released in a forest in Manipur�s Tamenglong district on Sunday.
Wildlife Warden Nehemiah Panmei along with Chiuluan village authority chairman Keiramsinang Gangmei, members of the Rainforest Club Tamenglong, students and villagers from Chiuluan attended the event, in which the bird was released in the Khangchiuluan reserve forest on Sunday afternoon.
The bird was rescued by Esther Panmei, wife of Nehemiah Panmei, when she saw the bird fall while flying near Tamenglong Bazar on Saturday. Since then, the bird was kept under observation at their place and was released only after it regained its strength. Hunting of birds and animals in the reserve forest is prohibited.
Before releasing the rare bird, Chiuluan Baptist Church associate pastor Pouri Gangmei prayed for its good health, sources said. Wildlife Warden Nehemiah thanked all the people present during the bird�s release.
Out of six species belonging to the family Pittidae, according a report published in 2016, the Blue Pitta is among the rarest and has never been photographed alive in India.
The bird was reportedly sighted in the Dampa Tiger Reserve in Mizoram during a collaborative camera trapping study in February 2015. Blue Pitta is found in the Indian subcontinent and Indo-China region, besides other Southeast Asian countries.
Meanwhile, People for Animals Manipur has urged the authorities to look into reports of �uncontrolled� hunting of Asian Giant Hornet for business purposes in the state.