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7 White Egyptian Vultures seized from smuggler in Madhya Pradesh

Representational image. Categorised as endangered, seven white or Egyptian vultures were seized from a smuggler at Khandwa Railway Station

IN Bureau

The Railway Protection Force and the Forest Department in Madhya Pradesh arrested a vulture smuggler at the Khandwa Railway Station. They seized from the possession of the smuggler seven Egyptian Vultures — a rare species and listed as endangered by IUCN.

The discovery of these birds took place when an alert passenger informed the ticket inspector about foul smell in the train. The moment the train reached the Khandwa Railway Station, the inspector told the RPF.

Following this the RPF along with the officials of the Forest Department arrested the accused who was found to be in possession of these rare vultures and was taking them from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh to Malegaon in Maharashtra. The seven birds have been handed over to the forest department.

RS Solanki Forest Department SDO told India Today: “We got information from RPF that a man was carrying white vultures on the train. On receiving the information, the forest department staff immediately reached there and jointly raided the train. Accused Fareed Ahmed has been arrested after seven white vultures or Egyptian vultures were recovered from him. The case has been registered under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.”

While the accused is being questioned, the vultures will be released following the court’s orders, informed Solanki.

Egyptian vulture or Neophron percnopterus are also known as white scavenger vulture or pharaoh's chicken have contrasting underwing pattern and wedge-shaped tail that make it distinctive in flight. Known to feed on carrion they also hunt small mammals, birds, and reptiles.

Interestingly, they feed on the eggs of other birds, breaking larger ones by tossing a large pebble onto them.

Incidentally, this is the first case of smuggling of vultures in Madhya Pradesh.