Critically endangered Bengal florican rescued in Northeast India

An IFAW Wildlife Rescue Centre staff member holds a rescued Bengal Florican.This is her first ever visit and she represents a critically endangered species. The blue sky and the landscape of  Kaziranga National Park in Northeast India still has impression of their existence while they fly or roam around this world heritage site.

Her entry to the IFAW Wildlife Rescue Centre is itself history in the making. In the fourteen years of its existence, the centre has never encountered any of her family members. She is precious and rare, as her population is in crisis around the world, she is the Bengal Florican.

The adult female bird is listed as ‘critically endangered’ in IUCN red list and that has caught the attention of the whole team being the first guest with brushing signs due to an unknown cause.

Read another IFAW successful animal rescue: Lola and her puppies.

Veterinarian Dr. Panjit Basumatary, did the preliminary treatment and the guest was kept in her enclosure for observation.

Veterinarian Dr. Panjit Basumatary and his team conduct a preliminary examination.

The rescue story of this rare bird is an interesting one, as Manoj Gogoi, conservationist and president of Naturalist for Rehabilitation of Snakes and Birds (NRSB) told us while bringing her for clinical care on Sunday night.

The NRSB chief got a call from Lakhipur village on Sunday evening around 9.30pm. “As we reached the house, we saw the house owner was worshiping the bird as a rare opportunity to have “God” at home. We witnessed a rare scene but thought that it is good for conservation that in the name of god, the bird was saved by the villager and not poached for meat, as we generally hear,” expressed Mr. Gogoi.  

The NRSB team thought to shift the adorable “God’s baby of the village" for clinical observation as it had signs of injury to the rehabilitation center, the villagers agreed.

Upon her arrival we could see that the bird was weak but soon enough she gradually started to recover and became stable over night. She started accepting food the next morning and recovered well.

The Bengal Florican recovering at the Wildlife Rescue Centre.

After 36 hours of clinical observation where her condition was carefully monitored, the Bengal Florican was certified to be fit for release.

The time for the bird’s freedom was knocking at the door since the early morning of Tuesday. The veterinarians, biologist and animal keeper were ready for the bird release. The IFAW-WTI team led by Dr. Rathin Barman and Dr. Panjit Basumatary took “God’s baby of the village” out to Mihimukh area of Kaziranga National Park which is ideal habitat for the Bengal Floricans and released her, putting a sign of success on the canvas of Kaziranga.

The IFAW-WTI team, led by Dr. Rathin Barman and Dr. Panjit Basumatary, release the Bengal Florican in Kaziranga National Park.

At first she walked a little and then she suddenly disappeared inside the thick bushes leaving a smile on everyone's face.

--SB

Learn more about IFAW’s rescue efforts: Visit our wildlife rehabilitation and release page.

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