Hornbill found fallen, suspected of viral disease

Hornbill found fallen, suspected of viral disease

PASIGHAT, Jan 9: In a strange case of bird falling from the sky, apparently, that’s too without any external injury, a wreathed Hornbill which is said to be a Schedule-I species under Wildlife Protection Act 1972, was found lying in the compound of East Siang Deputy Commissioner’s official residence here this morning.

District Veterinary Officer Dr Jikom Panor informed that DC Tamiyo Tatak called him to take care of the bird which was noticed by a security guard of DC bungalow. “I had consulted the matter of ensuring survival of the beautiful bird with Kalen Panggeng, Range Forest Officer, Borguli Range, D Ering Wildlife Sanctuary who suggested me to take care of it as there is no facility to take care of such animals in the D Ering Wildlife Division,” said Dr Panor. He said, “I am taking care of it with my best knowledge at the moment”, while hinting that it might be sent to Zoological Park, Itanagar for better care.

When asked about the possible reason of in-flight bird’s falling, Dr Panor told that the bird must have been caught with a viral disease as there are no external injuries. “Due to severe coldness at the higher altitude region after recent rain and hailstorm, the birds must have tried flying down to the plains here where temperature is not as that of snowy mountains at the higher altitudes. I was told that guards of DC Bungalow had seen some Hornbills (around eight) flying overhead in the previous day and it must be one of them. But the bird is not eating at the moment and is somehow being fed with liquid items like Glucose etc”, added Dr Panor, who also hinted of minimal chance of bird’s survival.

There are five Hornbill species found in Arunachal Pradesh: the Great Hornbill (Buceros Bicornis), Rufous-necked Hornbill (Aceros nipalensis), Austen’s Brown Hornbill (Anorrhinus Austeni), Wreathed Hornbill (Rhyticeros Undulatus) and Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros Albirostris). The wreathed hornbill (Rhyticeros Undulatus), also known as the bar-pouched wreathed hornbill, is a species of Hornbills found in forests from far North-Eastern India and Bhutan, East and South through South-East Asia and the Greater Sundas in Indonesia.

If this State bird is truly under infection of viral disease as said by Dr Panor, DVO, the case needs to be studied and examined by some bird experts so that a protection measure could be taken up to save these rare birds whose numbers are already threatened due to rampant hunting practices prevailing in the region, said one of environmentalists.


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