The discovery of a juvenile white backed vulture, an endangered species, rekindled faint hope that the vulture, which was once found abundantly around the city but disappeared more than 20 years ago, may be breeding again in the region.

On Friday night, two residents of Asifnagar in the city, Mohammad Abdul Nayeem and Mohammad Abdul Azeem, discovered the juvenile vulture on a road and rescued it. They immediately alerted the Forest Department calling in on the Department’s helpline. The young vulture, that was found to be dehydrated and weak, was taken by the officials to the Nehru Zoological Park where it is since being tended to. Officials said its condition has improved.

With the discovery of the juvenile white backed vulture, a team of Forest Department staff along with a biologist from the zoo studying vultures, will survey the Asifnagar area and its surroundings to try and locate the young one’s nest, a department official said.

“It is very young and not able to fly for more than a 100 m at the most, which indicates that it may have not come from far away. We hope we find its nest and if we do, it will be a big boost for the species as we can take steps to protect the nest and the birds,” the official said.

Azeem told Telangana Today that he and his brother Nayeem had just come out of the mosque after evening prayers on Friday when they found the vulture sitting on their motorcycle. “Some people by then tried to give it some water and also some bananas. As soon as we saw it we knew it was a vulture and a rare one. When we tried to catch it, it flew for about 100 m and sat on a wall where we managed to catch it,” he said. The brothers did a quick search online to locate the Forest Department helpline and called the number, following which the officials took possession of the bird, he said.
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