Stork’s legs frac­tured af­ter get­ting en­tan­gled in ball of hu­man hair

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY - Alex.Fer­nan­des@ times­

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

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