GUWAHATI, Feb 18 � A Himalayan Griffon vulture literally came back from being dead to live a new life in the wild, thanks to the never-say-die attitude of a dedicated team of the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) run by the IFAW-WTI, a press release stated.
The vulture was released along with yet another rehabilitated vulture from CWRC at Bam Rajabari village in Sivasagar district, at an awareness programme in the presence of stakeholders from the village where it was found.
Barely a month ago, 50 endangered vultures were poisoned in a village in Sivasagar district, from where this solitary bird was rescued from the brink of death by the Mobile Veterinary Service (MVS) unit of the CWRC that rushed to Bam-Rajabari village on January 23.
�We were shocked to find 19 white-backed vultures, three slender-billed vultures and 29 Himalayan griffons dead on the site. It was an acute poisoning case. Postmortem samples and two whole carcasses were sent to the Regional Animal Health Centre, Khanapara for further toxicological investigation and confirmatory diagnosis,� recalled Dr Biswajit Boruah, CWRC MVS veterinarian.
Seeing the condition of the solitary bird fighting for its life, Dr Boruah shifted the vulture after preliminary treatment to the rescue centre at Kaziranga for further care and investigation on January 24.
Dr Pradip Baishya, a local government veterinarian helped the Assam Forest Department and the CWRC to save this one life from a scene that shook the conservation community. With treatment and rehabilitation at the CWRC, the vulture recovered well in three weeks and was able to behave normally, which led to the decision to release the bird back to its native site by the CWRC team.
In this connection, a public awareness meeting was organised with stakeholders that included officials of the Assam Forest Department, IFAW-WTI team from the CWRC, Bam Rajabari Village Committee, Village Defence Party and the villagers prior to the vulture release on site on February 17.
Suchan Chandra Gogoi, ACF, Sivasagar said, �We are very happy that at least one vulture is saved and is being sent back to its home range. It is the people of Bam Rajabari who should be appreciated for their effort to conserve the vulture nests in this area. The villagers feel that vultures are their friends and need to be protected. This kind of poisoning incident should be stopped for the greater interest of this endangered species.�