(English) Rare incidence in nature puzzles scientists

The newly spotted white crow. Image source: khabarnepal
The newly spotted white crow. Image source: khabarnepal

KATHMANDU, Nepal–Black is unavoidably the colour whenever crows are concerned. Or, a person who pronounces the word crow automatically sketches the black clour in his mind .  But in an amazingly rare case that has puzzled Nepali scientists as a pair of white crows spotted in Kirtipur, an ancient hilltop town, nearly kilometers southwest of the Capital Kathmandu.

Tej Kumar Shrestha, Professor of Ecology at Pokhara University’s School of Environmental Science and Management spotted the two young white crows.

Dr. Shrestha who was also accompanied with his college students when he made the exceptional sighting of the birds in their fledging stage said that the two uncommon young crows were related with two other black siblings from the same nest.

“Appearance of white crows is a rare incidence in nature. We are observing in future whether the two young crows turn back to black normal colour or remain white as they are now,” today’s broadsheet daily the Rising Nepal quoted Dr. Shrestha  as saying.

Dr Shrestha who headed the Central Department of Zoology of Tribhuvan University further said they observed the young birds begging food from parents all the time making great noise.

Even locals and children are said to be witnessed of the rare sight. Locals mostly children are enjoying the rare scene of nature with great delight, it is learnt.  The white crows always seem hovering over orchards and trees of Kirtipur city in a pleasant manner.

Seeing the rarest of the rare incidents, Dr. Shrestha accompanied with his scientific team supervised the movement of these unusual birds spreading the areas of four miles. The team has also launched genetic studies on the rare birds.

Dr. Shrestha, speculates that the appearance of these white crows is perhaps linked with the phenomenon of gene mutation. He also stressed the need for the extensive studies to ascertain it.

The juvenile white crow has white iris, white feathers and brownish white beak.  Dr. Shrestha believes that genetic mutation may have prevented the production of melanin, from being properly deposited on feathers and eyes of the birds.

Similar crow was reported by Dr. Shrestha at a temple in Kathmandu three decades ago. In neighboring India also some scientists have also highlighted the occurrence of white crow in Gorakhpur.

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