‘Ringed’ stork finally rescued

The black-necked stork at the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary.

The black-necked stork at the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary.  

A rubber ring had held its beak shut for at least five days, preventing it from feeding

A black-necked stork with a rubber ring stuck around its beak was finally found near Najagarh jheel at Dhankot village and rescued on Wednesday.

The bird had been spotted by wildlife photographers in the Basai wetlands on Friday. Since then, a team from Haryana’s Wildlife Department and volunteer birders had been looking for it, hoping to find it before it starved to death or exhaustion made it a victim for stray dogs.

Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Vinod Kumar, told The Hindu that the stork was spotted at Najagarh two days ago, then at Basai again. Once it was clear that it lived near Najafgarh, a team kept vigil around the clock. On Wednesday, when the bird was spotted again, rescuers had to chase it for two kilometres. They were finally able to capture the stork at around 9 a.m.

The ring, which turned out to be rubber — not plastic, as assumed earlier — had given the beak just enough play for the bird to drink, so it didn’t get dehydrated, but it had been unable to eat. Mr. Kumar said the lower part of the beak was full of mud.

The rescued stork, was taken to Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, where it was hand-fed fish and given water; by noon, it had gained enough strength to stand and react to its surroundings. It might be released by Thursday morning.

Black-necked storks are waders, found in wetlands across south and south-east Asia, and in Australia. Carnivores, they eat mainly fish, smaller aquatic animals and water birds, and insects. Officials say that the rubber ring probably came from the thousands of plastic bottles found dumped in the Basai wetlands recently.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 10:04:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/ringed-stork-finally-rescued/article24156457.ece

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