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Thursday March 8, 2007

Storks adapting to Kuala Gula sanctuary

TAIPING: They are starting to find their own food and exploring the surroundings. 

It’s probably a sign that eight Milky Storks are getting used to their new home at the Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary

The four pairs were released at the sanctuary on Sunday to mark World Wetlands Day, a day after they were acquired from Zoo Negara which has about 80 of the birds. 

Two of the big water birds, known locally as burung upeh, were seen looking for food at a small mudflat.  

Picky eaters: Visitors watching two Milky Storks foraging for food at the Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary from the nearby restaurant.
“They are very tame,” said a restaurant worker, adding that she saw a pair of the birds resting on the balcony of a chalet. 

She noted that danger could come from monitor lizards that populated the nearby areas. 

Perak Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) director Sabrina Shariff said she could not comment on why the birds were released without adhering to globally accepted rules of re-introduction of captive-bred animals. 

She said she also could not comment why the birds were not kept in an aviary to “acclimatise” them as dictated by protocol. 

She said she was given the task of relocating the birds at a new site and to observe them in their new habitat. 

Taiping Zoo director Dr Kevin Lazarus said releasing the Milky Storks at Kuala Gula was good for eco-tourism as the birds were used to having people around them. There are 12 milky storks at Taiping Zoo. Ten of them are from Zoo Negara, and two from Singapore Zoo.  

Earlier Reports:
Milky storks released without re-introduction
Return of the Milky Stork


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