Mumbai: Glue trap for mice almost kills rare migratory bird

Updated: Nov 07, 2019, 07:50 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

Doctor with BNHS suggests that traps be kept inside homes only and disposed of very carefully

The bird lost part of its tail while struggling to escape the glue trap
The bird lost part of its tail while struggling to escape the glue trap

Glue traps that people commonly use to trap rodents seem to be death traps for other creatures as well. On Tuesday, a red-throated flycatcher — a migratory bird that travels thousands of kilometres during the winter to India — got caught in a glue trap in Lonavala. The bird breeds in eastern Europe and across central Asia.

The creature would have died if not for the efforts of Dr Raju Kasambe from the Bombay Natural History Society(BNHS) and his son who carefully prised the bird out of the industrial strength glue, cleaned it up and released it back in the wild on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Dr Kasambe, who is assistant director at BNHS's Conservation Education Centre (CECSs), was on a visit to Lonavala when he learnt of the bird caught in a glue trap that a villager had kept outside his house. Kasambe rushed to the house and was shocked to see that the bird was a red-throated flycatcher.

Speaking to mid-day Dr Kasambe said, "It was painful to see the bird stuck like that. We very gently removed the bird from the glue pad and brought it back to Mumbai. Releasing the bird with all the glue still on its body would have been fatal for it."

BirdThe bird after it was released

Kasambe safely transported it back to Mumbai where he and his son, Vedant, a first year veterinary student, gently removed all the glue from the bird's body.

"The bird had lost its tail while struggling to free itself from the glue pad. After all its feathers and body parts were double checked for traces of glue it was released back into the natural habitat inside BNHS-CEC near Film City in Goregaon," Kasambe said.

Use glue traps wisely

Kasambe appealed to people to make sure the glue pads are placed only inside homes and they are disposed of properly. The pads should not be simply flung outside after a rodent is caught but wrapped and then thrown away. "When people throw the entire glue pad with mouse in the open, the noise that the rodent makes attracts predatory birds like owls , spotted owlet , shikra , barn owl and so on and these birds could get stuck on the glue pad. Glue pads kept outside trap snakes and other crawling creatures like geckos, lizards, toads and so on," he said.

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