Thirty-four critically-endangered vultures have died in Tinsukia in Eastern Assam on Monday and Tuesday. Experts suspect it to be a case of poisoning. The veterinarian on the ground said 13 birds are currently being treated.
Khanin Changmai, a veterinarian with Wildlife Trust of India, said the dead and the injured include slender-billed and white-backed vultures, both critically endangered on the IUCN list.
According to Changmai, the incident was first reported from a village near Talap in Tinsukia on January 18.
“On the first day, we found 22 dead birds and 13 in a comatose condition. They were brought to our station in Guijan. Four of them died later,” he said.
The next day they found eight more dead vultures and another four which were alive.
The samples will be sent for forensic examination tomorrow to ascertain the cause of death.
“But we suspect they died of poisoning after consuming a cattle carcass. We don’t know yet if the cattle died of poisoning or if the carcass was poisoned later,” Changmai said.