RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh forest department owing to its alleged poor handling failed to save an ailing subadult Himalayan Griffin vulture — endangered Schedule-1 species after keeping it in captivity for almost 18-odd days.
The wildlife activists cited the state forest department’s callous handling of the wounded vulture, which was traced by youths never Geedam in Maoist-affected Dantewada.
The Himalayan Griffin vulture, a native to India, Pakistan and Nepal, has been listed as ‘critically endangered’ since 2002.
The initial cruelty for the scavenging bird that faces threat of extinction and not usually sighted in Chhattisgarh was seen at the Geedam forest division premises where the department staff didn’t stop the locals who were seen forcibly extending the avian’s feathers and posing next to it for photos.
Later the ailing vulture was transported for over 500 km from Dantewada to Kanan-Pendari mini-zoo at Bilaspur for its proper treatment and care. But it couldn’t survive.
“Earlier there were two expert veterinary doctors but owing to some unknown difference with the forest department both left. The vulture was attended by a fresh veterinary doctor. Ideally, such doctors should be initially suitably trained by the Wildlife Institute of India before their field placement.
"The forest department failed to take requisite measures and care,” said Mansoor Khan, wildlife and environment activist.
Despite repeated attempts neither the divisional forest officer, Satyadeo Sharma, nor the conservator, who is the superintendent of the Kanan-Pendari mini-zoo, V K Chourasia, were available for their comments.
They also didn’t respond to messages.
Wildlife enthusiasts suspect that the department officials might attempt to conceal the real reason behind the death after the post-mortem report is out.