Over 250 chicks of greater flamingos separated from their flock and stuck in mud at a breeding colony in Great Rann of Kutch (GRK) were rescued and reunited with their flock after a three-day-long operation, forest department officials said on Sunday.
Forest officials got an alert three days ago from the Border Security Force (BSF) about separated and stranded young ones of greater flamingos near the Indo-Pakistan Boarder in GRK.
“When we reached the colony, we found a huge flock of flamingo chicks. Further deep towards the border, we found stray chicks stuck in mud, apparently separated from the flock. Our teams undertook rescue operation from Thursday and by Saturday, we rescued and reunited more than 250 chicks with the larger flock,” Chetan Patel, range forest officer (RFO) of Rapar in Kutch (east) territorial forest division, said.
Patel said the nesting colony was around 60 km away from Flamingo City. “The nesting colony is on the periphery of Kutch Desert Sanctuary. It appears there was a large-scale breeding by greater flamingos in that area. After hatching chicks, generally females fly away while only a few males stay back to lead the flock of chicks,” the RFO added. “We are assuming that some birds of prey might have attacked the flock and the chicks would have got separated from the group during their bid to escape. It is also possible that they could not move as water dried in the area,” the RFO said.
Wings and legs of some of the stranded chicks were covered in mud, making it difficult for them to tread, patel said, “Our rescue team, including 10 to 12 people, washed the mud off the chicks before releasing them. Due to difficult terrain, it took us three days to rescue these chicks. Our teams will visit the area again on Monday also,” Patel added.
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