BASAI, INDIA — A bird in India with its beak clamped shut by a plastic ring was fortunately rescued by Indian birdwatchers who feared it would starve to death.
Reported by The Times of India, the stork was rescued about 9 a.m. on Wednesday in Basai wetland, a suburb of India's capital.
Luckily, the bird was rescued by birdwatchers and wildlife officials and was taken to a bird sanctuary for treatment. Surprisingly, the dehydrated bird was nibbling on a small fish and is in good condition despite living without food for at least seven days.
Black-necked storks are classified as "near-threatened" on the Red List of threatened animals and are native to parts of India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. But only 50-60 of the birds are found in the wetlands region outside Delhi.
When the photo of the stork with its beak shut by the plastic ring emerged on the internet this week, it immediately captured attention from around the world.
Pankaj Gupta, a bird watcher and member of the Delhi Bird Foundation, who was involved in the rescue mission said the plastic ring could have come from a bottle or can, and is likely to have slipped onto the bird's beak when it was hunting in the water, and then got stuck there.
The stork is currently being looked after by officials of the Sultanpur National Park and bird sanctuary, they will put it back into its natural habitat once it's deemed fit.
The BBC reported that environmentalists in India want the Basai area to be protected and are hoping to build a factory there to deal with the recycling construction waste.