I spent a month in Jatayu Vulture Restaurant in Kawasoti, Nepal as an artist in residency for PhotoKTM. Seeing the magnificent vultures in flight up close was a dream come true.
The Jayatu Vulture Restaurant was opened on the outskirts of Laukani, Kawasoti. The brainchild of DB Chaudhary, it is one of the first community-managed vulture feeding stations. This place has been a haven for vultures since 2006 as it provides Diclofenac-free dead cattle given by cattle farmers around the community.
Nepal had its issues with the decline in the population of vultures. The major contributor to this was a medicine called Diclofenac. This drug was used to treat cattle as an anti-inflammatory agent. The only problem was that the dead cattle treated with this anti-inflammatory agent were now toxic for the vultures to scavenge on.
The death of the vultures would be due to kidney failure would result in uric acid accumulating in the birds’ blood and crystallizing around their internal organs. This condition is called visceral gout.