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Locals grab a rare vulture from a cemetery in Colonelganj, Kanpur.

A group of Colonelganj village residents in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, grabbed a rare vulture from the local Eidgah cemetery on Sunday. In a video of the incident that has gone viral, residents can be seen trying to pet the bird while posing for selfies. Eventually, the bird was given to the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department.

The news agency ANI identified the bird as a Himalayan Griffon vulture. According to scientists, the Griffon vulture is one of the largest bird species found in the Himalayas, with a wing span of almost 2 metres.

The news agency reviewed a few tweets by Indian Forest Service officer Praveen Kaswan from last year, when he rehabilitated one of the rare birds and stated, “Himalayan Griffon vultures are practically extinct.” They are referred to as “ecosystem engineers.”

Kaswan examined the images released by ANI on Twitter and said, “It appears to be a Himalayan Griffon vulture. Subadults are migratory, while adults inhabit higher altitudes. They can live between 40 and 45 years.”

The wide wingspan of these vultures enables them to soar high in the sky while scavenging for carrion on the ground. By consuming the carcasses, vultures limit the spread of disease to humans.

On the weekend, the villagers of Kanpur could not contain their joy after the capture of a rare animal, as shown in a video that generated considerable internet buzz.

“We eventually succeeded in capturing the vulture after a week of trying. We attempted to catch it but were unsuccessful. Mohd Safiq, a local villager, told ANI, “We finally caught it when it fell.” He said, “We turned over the vulture to the Forest Department in the presence of police.”


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