Several people in our locality are as deeply attached to our Puttenahalli Puttakere as we trustees are. One of them is S K Srinivas, our inhouse water expert, bird watcher, and photographer. In his recent blog post, a heartbreaking, angry, helpless narrative, he has written about the agonizing death of a Great cormorant at the lake yesterday. It died because its wing was caught in what looked like a piece of fishing net to us. Srini felt it could be from a paper kite. As he pointed out, the Chinese ‘manja’ is made of the same polymer fiber as the fishing net but is coated with glass powder and abrasive metal which makes it deadly enough to slice the neck of a human being. The fishing net can immobilize a bird. If not rescued, it will die a slow death. This was what happened to the Great cormorant.
Since the cormorant sat on a perch in the middle of the water, we didn’t notice its plight till Srini spotted the string in one of the photographs he had taken.
We hoped it would come close to land so that we could remove the string and set it free as we had done in the past. Shivu, one of the young men who exercise at the lake every morning noticed it too and came in the evening to see if he could catch it. He saw the exhausted and hungry bird sitting on the revetment. When he went near, however, it eluded him. Yesterday morning, he managed to catch it and we informed Avian and Reptile Rehabilitation Centre immediately. Sadly, it died before the rescue team could even set off from their office.
This is not the first time that a bird has been caught in some string or fishing net at our Puttenahalli lake. We do our very best to make the surroundings litter free and safe for birds, reptiles and what not but as long as humans continue to live illegally at the lake premises this seems impossible!
Photos credit: S.K. Srinivas