Recently, a great hornbill fledgling was rescued by locals in Bokakhat, located in the Golaghat district of Assam, and handed over to a veterinary expert at the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC), which is run by the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI).
The young bird was found all alone and had sustained an eye injury. A detailed medical examination by WTI’s head wildlife veterinarian Dr Samshul Ali revealed that the bird had suffered a corneal injury in its left eye and was placed under intensive medical treatment.
After a week of care, the bird exhibited signs of recovery and was shifted to an outdoor cage. To the team’s amazement, a male hornbill was spotted frequenting the cage with food for the fledgling, a press release today stated.
It turns out that this visiting hornbill was successfully rehabilitated and released by the Wildlife Trust of India last year. The team could recognise the bird by the unique identification ring on its leg.
The male hornbill began being accompanied by a female partner and together the couple started fostering the young one. They have been observed to be providing a rich insect diet for the little bird. Once it makes a full recovery, the hornbill will be released back into its natural habitat.
Dr Ali said, “It is both beautiful and fascinating to witness an orphaned individual, who was once saved and given a second chance at life at CWRC, help foster another orphaned hornbill.”
The Great Hornbill, also known as the Great Pied Hornbill or the Great Indian Hornbill is the largest among the nine hornbill species found in India. Its most distinctive feature is the bright yellow and black casque on top of its massive bill. This species is protected at the highest level under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 and is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.