Assam: Vultures die of poisoning by stray dogs


At around 10 am on March 17, farmer Bipul Goswami returned home from his field. While washing his hands and feet at the village tube well, he saw a kettle of donkeys in the sky. He thought to himself that maybe a cow had died somewhere nearby, and the vultures were attending a grand feast. He never thought it would be the last meal for many in the herd.

Goswami, a resident of Mothpara village in Chaygaon, Assam, 45 km from Guwahati, told Mongabay India, “Just before dusk that day, a man from our neighboring village of Milanpur was searching for his lost cow. He was the first person to find the bodies of some donkeys scattered in the area. More bodies were found when other villagers gathered there after receiving the information. It was a devastating sight. ”

In this case, which is suspected to be a case of insecticide, so far 100 Himalayan griffin vultures and one step eagle have been confirmed dead. “When we went to the spot on the evening of March 17, we found the bodies of 97 donkeys. Twelve vultures were alive at the time and they were found in Rani in Kamrup district,” said Dumpy Bora, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), West Kamrup. The next day, we found three more bodies – two vultures and an eagle. In addition, one vulture sent to the breeding center died.

We found the remains of a small animal that could be a goat or a dog. We suspect that the carcass was taken from carbofuradan, a highly lethal pesticide. We have sent the remains of this animal for forensics and the exact cause of death will be known only after the test results come out.

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