Almost 24 hours after the opening of their enclosure, eight captive hand reared Oriental White-Backed vultures came outside the aviary, fed on carcasses of goats and returned inside the aviary, Friday afternoon.
A colony of almost 50 wild vultures also joined the eight on the lunch. The wilds, which were a mix of Himalayan Griffon and White-Backed, also ventured inside the open aviary but shortly came back outside.
“It is a good sign. The captive and the wild vultures took lunch together. The eight vultures, which were released in the wild on Thursday, seemed comfortable with the wild vultures outside the aviary. I believe the eight vultures will also take flight along with the wilds in coming days. The gate of the aviary will remain open for some months and we will continue to place goat meat near it. Earlier, when the aviary was closed, meat was served to the captives inside the enclosure and for the wilds outside the enclosure. The motive today was to familiarise them with each other,” said Dr Vibhu Prakash, head of Jatayu Conservation and Breeding Centre (JCBC).
A bunch of crows and mongoose also fed on the carcasses along with the vultures.
Haryana Forest minister, Kanwar Pal Gujjar, had released the eight white-backed vultures in the wild on Thursday, but some vultures did not come outside the aviary. Forest officials had claimed that the huge human presence made them nervous.
“Earlier, the vultures would come near the small door through which the helpers supplied the meat inside the enclosure on their own. And the wilds chased the food vehicle, which was used for transporting the carcasses. But yesterday, the scene was completely different. Not a single vulture responded,” said Nikita, a conservationist.
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