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Over 100 Asian Openbill Storks Killed, Several Injured after Freak Storm Hits Assam’s Majuli Island

Forest officials reached the spot to assess the situation and found dead birds with broken wings, internal damage and other injuries. Many birds showed impaired movement even as officials tried to render treatment.

Karishma Hasnat | CNN-News18

Updated:September 10, 2019, 9:50 PM IST
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Over 100 Asian Openbill Storks Killed, Several Injured after Freak Storm Hits Assam’s Majuli Island
A villager shows an Asian Openbill storks injured in the storm and torrential rain. (News18)
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Guwahati: At least 130 Asian Openbill storks were killed and over 50 injured in torrential rain and freak storm that lashed the Majuli river island district of Assam early on Tuesday. The birds had been taking shelter in an old Peepal tree at Bongaon that served as their nesting area for years.

“It is the first time that we have seen so many birds killed in a storm — there were six-seven nests in the tree behind a school in the Bongaon area. Hundreds of birds, including fledglings, died as they fell from the shredded tree. Right now, we have 17 injured birds and very few might make it,” said Majuli Divisional Forest Officer SK Thakuria.

Locals were seen dragging the dead storks for disposal and carrying the injured birds to safety. Forest officials reached the spot to assess the situation and found dead birds with broken wings, internal damage and other injuries. Many birds showed impaired movement even as forest officials tried to render treatment.

The Asian Openbill is found mainly in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. A forest official said these wading birds flock to Majuli for seasonal nesting during the monsoon. Another resident said a good number of Asian Openbill pairs are also nesting in nearby trees and they are healthy and safe.

(With inputs from Sanjit Asom Borah)

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| Edited by: Sohini Goswami
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