Stork’s legs fractured after getting entangled in ball of human hair
Mumbai: A young stork was found in Virar with its legs fractured after the limbs got entangled in a tuft of discarded human hair. The juvenile open-billed stork was lying immobile with its legs all knotted up in a mass of flocculent hair.
A nature lover from Virar spotted the stork in Kharodi area early on Friday, struggling unsuccessfully to wriggle free. Rescuers from two non-profit organisations, Sarrp and Divyajyot Trust, who rescued the bird disentangled the ball of hair and freed its legs before giving it first aid, said Vaishali Chawhan, a rescue team member from Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare (Raww), which is tending to the bird.
“The bird is not in a good shape; in fact, it is critical,” said veterinary surgeon Dr Ushma Patel who is treating it. Dr Patel said it has fractured both legs at the lower end of the tarsometalarsal bone—a fusion of the ankle bone and foot bo- ne in humans. “The base of its legs is swollen and a bone was jutting out and the wound was infected. Besides, vital tissue and nerves have been damaged and the stork has also suffered loss of blood,” said Dr Patel.
She said it is hard to predict chances of its ability to walk again. “It will undergo a major surgery on Monday where a rod will be inserted in both legs to fix the bone,” Dr Patel told TOI.
She said that it difficult to say at this juncture whether the bird will be able to use its limbs again. “But right now my top priority is the bird’s survival. Since it was brought here, the stork’s condition has stabilised quite a bit.”
The lack of a proper facility or infrastructure in and around the city to treat wildlife, especially the large variety, makes things difficult for rescuers. “Also, it only adds to the trauma of such creatures,” said Pawan Sharma, president of Raww. “In the stork’s case, a small lock of innocuous-looking hair, which had been tossed away mindlessly, could end up proving traumatic for the bird.”
The young open-billed stork is slated to undergo a major surgery today