After rapid recuperation, the nine vultures in Tinsukia are flying freely in the sky a day after they were released by the forest officials on Friday. Before being released, veterinary doctors conducted a thorough medical check up in presence of the forest officials and several bird lovers who rescued them from the jaws of death at Chengeligaon in Dangori area. Then the Eastern Assam Mobile Veterinary Service unit of International Fund for Animal Welfare and Wildlife Trust of India released the vultures. These vultures are victims of carcass poisoning that resulted in death of 31 endangered vultures on March 4. The surviving vultures were under the observation of Eastern Assam MVS unit led by Dr Samshul Ali with animal keeper, Hemanta Das, at Na-Barmura campus in Saikhowa Forest Range.
The scavengers gradually recovered and responded well to the treatment. M K Dhar, DFO, Tinsukia Wildlife Division said at the awareness meet. “The recovery of the poisoned vultures is a great success of IFAW-WTI MVS team and the forest department. I appeal to the villagers that if you find any such case please inform the department as soon as possible. It was a sad incident; we have to learn the lesson from this incident for the conservation of this endangered bird species.” The surviving individuals include seven Himalayan griffons, one slender bill and one white-rumped vulture. It is to be mentioned that out of nine vultures, eight were rescued from Chengeligaon and one from Kakopothar area of Tinsukia district.
“It is a moment of mixed feeling. We are happy to treat and revive these nine individuals, including the critically endangered white-rumped and slender billed vultures, but are equally concerned about the safety of these individuals once they are released back in to the wild,” said Dr Bhaskar Choudhury, Regional Head and Head Veterinarian The conservationist like Joynal Abedin (Benu) of Dibru Saikhowa Conservation Society , Gunadhar Konwar, Honorary Wildlife Warden,Raj Sonowal of Evergreen Foundation along with senior villagers Dimbeswar Sonowal, Minati Sonowal addressed the gathering on the need of vulture conservation. Notably, Biswajit Sonowal, a village youth and his friends helped in rescuing the sick birds from the carcass poisoning incident site on 4th March 2015, which has been appreciated by the forest officials and conservationists.
As the vultures have recovered and are out of danger, it has become the need of the hour to release them back into their habitat.