A young bull died after the vultures attacked it on April 20 at Phobjikha in Wangdue.
The bull was critically injured when a villager, who was on his way to check on his cattle in the locality, rescued it.
Lhawang Tshering, 49, from Gangtey, said three vultures were feeding on the injured bull; two stray dogs were waiting at a distance.
“When I shooed the vultures away, more came, about 25,” he said. He guarded the injured bull for a while and took it to the gewog centre for treatment. It did not survive.
Lhawang said that he immediately made a short video and shared it on the villagers’ Wechat group asking them to identify the bull. “Nobody claimed it; it turned out to be a tshethar bull.”
He said the village reported some cases of stray dogs attacking calves but vultures attacking live animals was the first time.
“Usually the vultures are known to feed only on dead animals,” Lhawang said. “Now they are preying on live animals.”
District Livestock Officer, Ugyen, said that he was also in Phobjikha when the incident occurred. “The livestock team, who were working on the national accelerated dog population management and rabies control programme, tried to treat the bull.”
He said that stray animals are posing danger to the livestock and tshethar animals. “When these animals die, stray dogs feed on them and they get addicted to meat. They then start attacking cattle.”
Starting from April 18, the team sterilised more than 200 stray dogs in Phobjikha; the programme will continue until May 1.
“There are many feral, semi-feral and stray dogs in the area,” Ugyen said.