Friday, November 14, 2008

Large Cuckoo Shrike - A rescue

This was the first bird rescue I did by myself other than my mammal rescues. This happened at Bandipur about a couple of months back. After a good sighting of elephants and sambar in the safari trails, I was journeying onwards towards a core area, where I work, when I saw this beautiful bird pitifully lying right in the middle of the road. Time was around 5.30pm. There were enough traffic on the roads and it was a wonder that the bird avoided being run over, by lorries and cars zipping by. A couple of bikers were also travelling on the road, more interested in sighting the elusive cats or the pachyderms. My initial thought upon seeing the bird was that it was dead, being hit while foraging by a speeding vechile. Hopping out of the jeep, my initial plan was to lay the bird's body near the fringes of the forest, thus allowing nature to take its own course.

To my shock , when I neared the bird, it fluttered and tried to stand on its feet. To my horror there were at least a couple of tourist groups in their SUV's coming on the road at more than the permissible speed. Parking my jeep in front of the bird, giving it some cover I diverted the other vechiles away from the vicinity of the bird. Then slowly crouching down I gently picked the bird up to be rewarded with three sharp pecks on my wrist. Then I placed the bird gently on the grass by the edges of the road. The bird wings were ok, since it beat its wings as soon as I released it. Since I was not sure, I called up another bird rescuer whom I respect a lot (thanks Sunetro) and took his advice. Acting upon it , I tried giving it water by placing water near it. But luckily the bird was only suffering from shock. In a few moments it was able to stand on its two feet and was able to flutter away. The bird to my greatest delight was able to lift itself and fly off in about 15 minutes.

The reason for writing this, is the way we behave when encountering such events. At least about half a dozen cars and a couple of bikes had passed in front of me and NONE took any initiative. I do understand that it is not logical to expect everybody to rescue , but I believe it is only fair that we could expect one among the lot to stop and give protection to the bird or to return and inform the authorities. The event had happened just about 3-4 kms away from the reception area. It is disgusting to note that these are the people who would talk about environment, wildlife, global warming etc.

1 Comment:

Shriya said...

Nice post on that rescue. Luckily the bird was not injured so much. While I was returning from my guest house in mudumalai / bandipur, there was langur hit by a speeding car and it was in real pain with not much chance of survival. The forest guards at the border check post were also not much help as they are not medically prepared.
Such a pity
you can see some of my bandipur mudumalai wildlife / bird
Best regards