Guwahati: The rapid rate of development has resulted in the loss of forest cover and decline in a wide variety of indigenous bird species in Assam. However, it’s never too late to take a stand, as Bharat Bora did. A resident of a remote village in Moran area of Dibrugarh district, Bora takes care of the injured wild birds and animals, including the great Indian hornbill — a ‘vulnerable’ species as per the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Bora, who is known for taking care of wildlife for almost 20 years now, has rescued at least 20 hornbills till date. He finds critically injured animals and birds and brings them home, and takes care of them till they are ready to join the wild. He spares no time and expense in providing the required medical attention to the injured faunas.
Bora recently took care of an injured owl and released it back into the wild after it was healthy enough to fend on its own. It took him 15 days to heal all the injuries sustained by the owl as one of its wings was broken and it had a critical head injury.
The villager is also known to have taken care of birds that lose their way due to intense storms. Two pairs of parrot chicks, who met a similar fate, are now under Bora’s care.
In fact, it’s not just Bora but locals from his entire village who are known to have moulded their lifestyle to the conservation of these endangered bird species. They plant fruit-bearing trees just for the birds to feast on them and are also against the felling of trees like silikha, jori, etc, which act as the nesting trees for those birds.
Many posters and hoardings have also been put up in the locality for the very purpose of making people aware by disseminating information about the conservation of the wild. The villagers of this small hamlet have also set up a community conservation organisation ‘Heuj’ for the purpose of conservation of the wild avian species.
Under his leadership and the combined efforts of the villagers, the remote village is now known as ‘the village of the hornbills’. With a large number of colourful hornbills flying around, this serene landscape can easily pass off as an open-air zoo for the birds contently pecking away at the fruit-laden trees thoughtfully planted by its residents.
Bora has rescued and helped in the recovery of adjutant storks, cubs of wild cats, owls, crows, cranes and many more.
The village now is a focal tourist spot for various bird lovers and watchers from all across the globe. Various conservationists, environmentalist, and even students can be seen coming to the picturesque village for bird spotting.