Ornithology: What Bombay Needs Now Is a Lot More Vultures

Bombay's tiny but influential and prosperous community of Zoroastrians, known around the world as Parsi, is facing a thorny religious problem. The traditional Parsi death rite--the placing of a corpse in a dakhma, a small open-air amphitheater, where it is devoured by birds of prey in about two hours--is threatened.

India's common white-backed vulture is on the verge of extinction, hit by an unidentified virus sweeping South Asia. To protect their way of death, Parsi leaders plan to build a 50-ft.-high aviary around their jungle-shrouded "Towers of Silence" in one of the toniest areas of central Bombay to breed vultures and...

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