Four vulture deaths in Ahmedabad in fortnight

DNA INDIA

The bird lovers and conservationists in the city are in a state of shock after the recent deaths of vultures in the city. In the past 15 days, four vultures have been reported dead in various parts of the city.

While the first death was registered in mid-June, the second bird died on last Tuesday. These two deaths were followed by two more on Wednesday.Experts believe that the prying scavengers will go extinct if effective steps are not taken.

With threats of extinction looming large, India is already fighting a battle and the recent deaths prove that enough is still not being done. The prime reason for this is believed to be the banned veterinary drug diclofenac, which is used in treating cattle.

Diclofenac administration keeps animals that are ill or in pain alive for longer. However, if the ill animals die, their carcasses carry traces of the drug. If vultures, which are sensitive to Diclofenac, eat flesh of such animals, they suffer kidney failure, visceral gout, and death as a result of diclofenac poisoning.

“We will soon enter into a crisis-like situation. The authorities must take stringent steps to ensure diclofenac administration is stopped. The vultures feed on carcasses and it leads to kidney fail and brain haemorrhage,” says Karitk Shastri, trustee of Jivdaya Charitable Trust, which is working for birds.

The trust is presently treating two injured vultures. “We are treating two juvenile scavengers-one with a leg injury and the other with broken wings. We will send the scavengers to the breeding centre in Junagadh.”

The bird lovers demanded strict action. “The forest department should spread awareness and take strict action against those who used the banned drug diclofenac. If this is not stopped, our skies will be bereft of vultures,” said a veterinary surgeon.

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