Jatayu bird species described in Ramayana found in Kanpur? Fact Check- Digiteye

Recently, a video of a big vulture captured in Kanpur is making round in social media with claims that it was Jatayu, a mythological bird from the Ramayana, that was revered for helping Rama to inform him about Sita. The claim obviously said the Jatayu bird is still alive as seen in Uttar Pradesh now.


The video, shared on Facebook, carried a caption:“कलयुग में पहली बार जिंदा मिले रामायण के जटायु! उत्तर प्रदेश के कानपुर में दिए साक्षात दर्शन” (English translation: Jatayu of Ramayana found alive for the first time in Kalyug! Gave live darshan in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh)


Digiteye India team took it up for fact checking as it is bound to be controversial. In a simple, Google Reverse Image Search, a frame of the video threw up a video report by news agency ANI that carried the relevant story with a video on January 9, 2022 about “UP: A rare vulture was captured in Eidgah cemetery of Kanpur’s Colonelganj”. The captured vulture was later handed over to the forest department. A local said the vulture was seen for over a week in the area before it was captured.

Authenticating the news, Anurag Singh, Deputy Director of Kanpur Zoo said: “A Himalayan griffon vulture in Kanpur. When they brought it to us, its legs were tied causing injuries. He was also in shock. It is unwell right now but we have given it treatment. It will be quarantined for a few days”.

The bird was identified as the Himalayan Griffon Vulture and as per the records, it has been found in India several times in the past, including a similar vulture G. Himalayensis on the shores of Dal Lake in Kashmir in 2016.

Himalayan griffon vulture rescued in Kashmir in 2016 / Wildlifesos.org

Similar vultures were seen in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra in 2018 and 2021, respectively. Hence, the claim in video of the Himalayan Griffon Vulture rescued in Uttar Pradesh as Jatayu described in epic Ramayana is misleading.

Claim: Vulture rescued in Uttar Pradesh is that of Jatayu breed in Ramayana
Conclusion: The vulture is Himalayan Griffon Vulture, captured and found in many places in India and not that of Jatayu as claimed.
Rating: Misrepresentation —

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