7 Suviving Vultures to be Released
NAGPUR: The seven white-backed vultures who got fresh lease of life even after consuming poisonous meat of a bull, will be released in the wild on June 5, the World Environment Day. AK Joshi, principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) for wildlife, Maharashtra, said the day to release the survived birds has been chosen looking into its significance. “I’ve already issued directions to the officials concerned to release the birds near their colonies,” said Joshi, speaking to TOI.
On April 18 and 19, around 27 vultures had consumed meat of a bull owned by Namdeo Satpute. The bull was undergoing treatment after it had consumed pesticide-infected vegetables. After the bull died, Satpute dumped it at the roadside. Vultures consumed its meat and started dying. Despite timely help from vets including raptor scientist Dr Ajay Poharkar, Dr Vilas Gadge and Dr Girish Gabhne, all from Nagpur, and Dr Shahaji Thawre, in-charge of vet hospital at Kunghada, only nine birds survived. Some birds had died instantly while others died during the course of treatment at veterinary clinic in Kunghada. In the first week of May, two vultures flew away and seven were remaining. “We will release these birds around 4 pm after examining them. A small programme has been organised to felicitate those who strived to save the birds,” said PR Yeole, conservator of forests (CF) for Gadchiroli Circle.
Earlier, Dr Poharkar had written to minister of environment & for-ests Jairam Ramesh to come for the release of the survived birds but he could not find time. The vultures are listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. The deaths of 18 vultures was perhaps the biggest onslaught on the last surviving population in the tribal district. This is the second time when vultures survived after treatment will be released.