A Greater Flamingo bird that had “collapsed” with a wing injury while flying over South Delhi’s Safdarjung Enclave a week ago was on Sunday released back into the wild. The rescue and treatment of the bird was done in a joint-operation conducted by non-profit Wildlife SOS and the National Zoological Park, also known as the Delhi Zoo.
A Wildlife SOS spokesperson said the bird was found by locals inside a residential area in Delhi’s Safdarjung Enclave. “This was our first flamingo rescue in Delhi. Flamingos are found near wetlands between November and June when they migrate to India. However, it’s rare for them to be seen in a residential area in a city like Delhi. The bird may have got injured as it was flying over the area,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added that after the bird was rescued, Wildlife SOS approached the Delhi Zoo for its treatment as they did not have a facility for flamingos.
For a week, the bird was treated and kept under observation at the Delhi Zoo. After it was found fit to be released, Wildlife SOS and the Delhi Bird Foundation identified a resident flock of flamingos at Najafgarh Jheel Wetlands, southwest Delhi, with which the rescued bird could be integrated.
Since the flock was over a kilometre way from the bank of the wetland, a boat took the team about 200 meters close to it for the bird to be released.
“The team was reassured to observe that the flamingo started feeding in the water immediately upon release. Greater flamingos are the largest and most widespread flamingo species and live in flocks called colonies to protects individual birds from predators,” a statement from Wildlife SOS said.
CEO of Wildlife SOS Kartick Satyanarayan said Delhi Zoo and Wildlife SOS shared a common goal. “We wanted the bird successfully released in the wild. Delhi Bird members came to our aid and helped us… This was a challenging situation as the only way to successfully release the bird was by using a boat,” he said.
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