Mysterious Casualty in India: Hundreds of Birds Die

OpenbillstorkcrushedIn a freak accident, more than 800 Asian openbill storks, mostly chicks and juveniles, were killed as the banyan tree on which they were nesting collapsed.

Sixty-one birds which survived were brought to IFAW-WTI run Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation from the Karbi Anglong Autonomous District, where the incident happened.

“Most of the admitted birds are chicks and fledglings. Many are severely injured, with fractures on the wings and legs,” said Dr Phulmoni Gogoi, CWRC veterinarian, during a brief break from a series of operations on the rescued birds.

“About 26 birds have succumbed to their injuries; condition of 12 of the remaining birds is critical,” said CWRC veterinarian, Dr Prasanta Boro.

There was no storm when the incident occurred, so staff are trying to figure out how the tree broke all of a sudden. Local botanists have been contacted to help determine the cause.

According to speculations the tree could have broken because of a combined effect of the weight of the birds and weakening of the tree due to termite infestation.

This is the breeding season for these birds so the casualty includes a lot of young birds. About 15 or 20 juvenile birds were found alive by the locals. The birds are not able to fly yet. However, they are safe as they are being looked after by the locals.

To read more about the openbill storks click HERE.

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