Mumbai: Two young flamingos — which are in a critical condition — were allegedly shot at by airguns recently. Ironically, one of them was found at the northern part of the Thane creek, where the government plans to inaugurate a flamingo sanctuary in February.
The other was found near a jetty around Godrej hillside colony in Vikhroli. Both the birds are now being treated at avian expert Dr. Rina Dev’s clinic in Bandra. Activists say this is the first time such incidents have occurred. The bird that was found near Thane creek was rescued by wildlife enthusiasts, who on Thursday rushed it to Thane Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TSPCA).
The bird, which was observed to be in distress, was admitted to the animal hospital after activists intimated the forest department about the rescue. Dr. Dev examined the bird at the TSPCA and it was found that its right wing was fractured and it had a maggot-infested wound. The treatment of the flamingo began with administration of fluids, medication, cleaning and dressing.
It was then kept under observation for a day and shifted to Dr Dev’s clinic on Saturday. Dr Dev said, “The bird is better, but its condition is still critical and it will have to be made stable.” The bird will undergo orthopaedic surgery after its overall condition stabilises.
Speaking to The Asian Age Pawan Sharma, founder of Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare (RAWW), said, “This case clearly reflects an organised poaching racket and it needs to be taken care of on immediate basis. We will be speaking to the mangrove cell about it and, in co-ordination with locals and photographers, keep an eye on such activities. We are also going to take up the matter of setting up a rescue centre for marine animals. There is an urgent need for a state government-run facility for city wildlife, its conservation, welfare and management.”
The other flamingo was rescued by a RAWW team after it was spotted by a fisherman around 4.20 pm on Sunday. The team rushed the bird to Dr Dev’s clinic. The bird, which is also suffering from a wing injury, is more critical than its counterpart and a small surgery had to be performed on it to patch up the wound.