Kanpur, January 9
A rare Himalayan Griffon vulture, captured by locals from the Eidgah cemetery of Kanpur's Colonelganj and later handed over to the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department, has created a lot of buzz on the Internet.
People in the Kanpur village could not contain their excitement after the rare capture over the weekend. The young population at the village was seen posing with the scavenger bird, pulling its wings to a full stretch to show off their capture.
With a wing span of over '6-feet' the Griffon vulture is one the biggest bird species found in the Himalayas, as per experts.
"Himalayan Griffon vultures are now nearly threatened. They are called ecosystem engineers," says Indian Forest Service officer Praveen Kaswan in one of his tweets last year when he rehabilitated one of the rare birds. Kaswan took a look at the visuals shared on Twitter also by ANI and confirmed: "It looks like a Himalayan Griffon vulture. Sub-adults are migratory, adults live on higher reaches. They can live up to 40-45 years of age."
Their large wingspan helps these vultures soar high in the sky searching for carcasses on the ground. It is a documented fact that by feeding on the carcasses, vultures prevent diseases from spreading to humans.
A Himalayan Griffon vulture in attack mode is a sight to behold as it raises its plume to give itself a "magnificent garuda" look as is seen in several photographs. The locals at the Kanpur Eidgah, who played with the rare species were lucky to capture the bird with less energy as it appeared subdued. There was hardly any counter from the bird as the people around pulled at its magnificent wings or cajoled it as a baby in their arms.
In winter the Himalayan Griffon vultures are seen in Terai and adjoining areas -- a kind of local migration for the species, experts added.
A local from the Kanpur village, Mohd. Safiq, said, "The vulture we finally managed to capture had been here for a week. We tried to catch it but didn't succeed. Finally, we captured it when it came down."
Talking about the rare sighting, the excited youngster said he often heard there were now fewer vultures in the country and wondered if prize money has been announced for capturing vultures.
Safiq said, "We handed over the vulture to the Forest Department in the presence of the police."
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