A remarkable young man with a taste for adventure and a passion for chickens is going to India to pursue the wild antecedents of domestic chickens.
Red Junglefowl still live in the wild state in India and other parts of Asia. Tomas Condon, a student at the University of Connecticut, will spend the next month traveling the area in search of these rare birds.
He has established a relationship with Dr. Raul Khul of the Wildlife Institute of India in Dehradun. He will confer with Dr. Khul before setting out to photograph and video Red Junglefowl in their wild state.
Although the birds can and do interbreed with domestic chickens, pure birds have been identified in northern India, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal. Mr. Condon hopes to bring some of these birds back to the U.S.
If he is able to get the requisite import documents, he will bring birds back to breeding programs at New York's Central Park Zoo, the Bronx Zoo and private breeding flocks.
Avian Influenza has not been reported in the areas where Mr. Condon will be seeking Red Junglefowl. Biosecurity practices require testing and quarantine to protect against spreading any disease.
I only wish I were going with him! I'll have to be satisfied with his reports, which I will share as I get them.