The people of a village at Tentulia upazila in Panchagarh on Wednesday found a Himalayan griffon vulture on a bamboo clump. The large-sized bird was dog-tired and unable to move.
Soon, curious people gathered in large numbers in Fakirpara village to take a glimpse of the rare bird.
Upon getting information, experts from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Bangladesh Forest Department rushed to the spot and rescued the bird.
They brought it to the vulture rescue centre at Singra National Park in Dinajpur and gave it necessary treatment and food. Later, they released the bird in the nature with a ring on its leg and a wing tag.
In the past six years, the IUCN rescued over 100 Himalayan griffon vultures from different parts of the country.
After giving them proper treatment and care, they released most of those birds in the nature. At the rescue centre, there are now five vultures under treatment.
With the scientific name of Gyps himalayensis, the Himalayan vulture falls in the family "Accipitridae" and is one of the two largest vultures of the Old World.
A true raptor and closely related to European griffon vulture, this huge bird is found along the Himalayas and the adjoining Tibetan Plateau. In 2015, the IUCN red-listed it as a near-threatened species globally.
Every year during winter, these vultures, especially juvenile ones, fly 1,000-2,000 kilometres to reach Bangladesh's northern districts, including Nilphamari, Gaibandha and Bogura, said Sarowar Alam Dipu, a senior programme officer at the IUCN Bangladesh.
When they reach, they become so exhausted that they fall on the ground. Local people fail to understand the matter and cause harms to these birds, he added.
To save these wounded birds, the IUCN Bangladesh, in cooperation with the Bangladesh Forest Department, set up the country's first vulture rescue centre in 2016 in Dinajpur.
"Every year, we rescue migratory Himalayan griffon vultures from various parts of Bangladesh. The vultures usually become tired or sick due to a long journey and a lack of food," added Sarowar.
The vulture conservation teams of the IUCN Bangladesh and the Forest Department annually rescue, rehabilitate and release 30 Himalayan vultures on average, he said.
"A large group of Himalayan vultures came to Bangladesh on Wednesday. The wounded one is one of them. Others might have been trapped in different areas of the country," he said.
He urged all to immediately notify the nearest Forest Department, government officials or the IUCN Bangladesh if they see any injured or sick vulture of any species in their localities.