Storks Covered with Oil in Armenia Won’t be able to Fly to Africa reports that storks in Hovtashen and neighboring villages are unable to fly; they roam in the streets because their feathers are covered with a thick layer of oil. The Environmental Inspectorate is now examining bird feathers, water flows in the area and the Hrazdan River. Inspectorate representative Artur Beglaryan says they are 80 percent inclined to blame some businesses. Fish ponds in the area are believed to have dumped waste into the river, and storks looking for food in the river waters, got covered with oil and lost their ability to fly.

Two of the storks were taken to the Institute of Zoology. One them was bathed and is under the specialists’ control, and the other one is still covered with oil. The specialists mention removing the oil from the birds is not an easy task. They have tried various solutions at the institute and even contacted foreign partners.

A group of volunteers, upon the initiative taken by “Towards a Sustainable Systems” organization, repeated the bathing process this Sunday in Hovtashen.

The problem is that Armenia does not have animal rehabilitation centers. “Towards a Sustainable Systems”, a non-profit organization, has launched a fundraising page on Facebook, for example, to cover the costs of traveling to Hovtashen, bathing baths and other expenses.

Zoologists have no doubt that those who are guilty should take responsibility. According to them, the law is incomplete; there is no high penalty for damaging storks. For example, there is a Caucasian heath hen listed in the Red Book, the penalty of which is 300,000 drams.

Mamikon Ghasabyan, the head of the Vertebrates Laboratory at the Institute of Zoology, says the fate of hundreds of storks is unclear. This dirt will not go without special solutions, they will not be able to find food when covered with oil, and most importantly, they will not be able to fly to Africa in fall, and if they winter in Armenia, they will not survive the cold with the damaged feathers.

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