Delhi: Bird with ring around beak spotted again

GURUGRAM: A rare black-necked for which birders and wildlife teams have been scanning wetlands for the past three days was finally spotted at Delhi’s Najafgarh Jheel around 5.30pm on Sunday. The stork has a ring, those that hold the cap of beverage bottles, around its and birders have been worried it will to death as it can’t part its beak because of the ring. The stork was first spotted in the state at Gurugram’s Basai wetland by birder Manoj Nair last Thursday evening (June 7) and its photograph with the ring blocking its beak drew, in the immediate context, attention to the dumping of waste around Basai and at a more elementary level, the larger threat plastic poses to environment and wildlife in the region.

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Rakesh Ahlawat and Sonu Dalal, two rescuers from Jhajjar, spotted the on Sunday evening, officials said. A three-member team from Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and a three-member team from the district wildlife authorities reached the spot. The bird is struggling to eat. Pankaj Gupta of the Delhi Bird Foundation said, “We got information in the evening that the bird with a plastic ring entangled around its beak was spotted at Najafgarh Jheel. Unfortunately, the cap is still entangled around its beak and it was struggling to fish at the wetland. The rescuers are being very cautious as they don’t want the bird to fly away again. The rescue team is still waiting for the stork to settle down at a place.”

Additional principal chief conservator of forest Vinod Kumar told TOI, “Thankfully, the bird has been spotted. The team has equipment to rescue the bird successfully. It is just waiting for the right time.” Several teams of NGOs and birders had been visiting Basai wetland, Najafgarh Jheel and the Sultanpur lake area to locate the bird since Thursday. The stork has been marked as a ‘near threatened’ species under the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) red list category.

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