Owl injured by banned Chinese ‘manja’ saved

Agra, Dec 15 : Prompt treatment by a team of the NGO Wildlife SOS saved a Barn Owl that was caught in a deadly Chinese ‘manja’ in Taj Nature Walk, Agra. The bird’s left wing was injured and is currently receiving intensive medical support at the facility.

Forest department officials at Taj Nature Walk, Agra found a Barn Owl caught in a Chinese manja (glass-coated nylon string) entangled around its left wing inside the protected forest premises. A closer look confirmed that the dangerous kite string had cut into the wing.

As the bird was in need of urgent medical treatment, it was rushed to the Animal hospital. Dr. S. Ilayaraja, Deputy Director, Veterinary Services for Wildlife SOS, said, “The bird has sustained soft tissue damages in the left-wing. We are currently providing laser therapy along with all other required medication. The bird will be released back in its natural habitat, once it fully recovers.”

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Kartick Satyanarayan, of the Wildlife SOS said, “It is terrible that the threat of manja continues despite a ban by the government. As birds tend to be more active during the early morning or at dusk, we request the public to refrain from flying kites during these hours. Using designated open spaces and choosing the cotton thread or natural fibre manja can help reduce the risk of related fatalities and save the avian population.”

Baiju Raj M.V, Director Conservation Projects, Wildlife SOS, said, “Besides facing a massive threat from poachers and wildlife traffickers, owls are also at risk from the Chinese manja that more often than not, causes strangulation and severe wing injuries.”

The Barn Owl (Tyto alba) is a widely distributed owl species and commonly found in the Indian subcontinent. They generally rest in unused burrows, tree cavities, or terraces and prey on rodents, small mammals and birds.

In India, owls are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and the International trade in owls is prohibited under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES).

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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