Rare mandarin duck spotted in over 100 years in Assam’s wetland

Rare mandarin duck spotted in over 100 years in Assam’s wetland

Snippets from the vibrant Northeast that capture politics, culture, society and more in the eight states.

Mandarin duck

Mandarin duck was spotted in Assam’s Maguri Motapung Beel | Twitter/@vivek4wild

New Delhi: A mandarin duck was spotted in Assam’s Maguri Motapung Beel (a wetland) earlier this week, possibly for the first time in over a 100 years, by a team of the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI).

The Maguri Beel, situated close to the state’s Baghjan village, had suffered damage last year following a blowout in one of the oil wells belonging to the Oil India limited. The oil well caught fire on 9 June 2020 and burned for 170 days, before the blowout was doused in November.

The mandarin duck has a distinctive, elaborate plumage and it nests in trees. The bird is native to East Asia, but has established feral populations throughout Western Europe.

WTI CEO Vivek Menon took to Twitter Monday to announce the happy news.

It has also been reported that the duck was last seen in the area in 1902, making the latest sighting the first in 118 years.

Assam engineering students develop TikTok alternative ‘Tip Teapi’

Three students from the Jorhat Engineering College in Assam have come up with a TikTok alternative called Tip Teapi. The video sharing and social networking mobile app has been developed by Saswati Kotoky from Dergaon, Amarjyoti Gautam from Jorhat, and Himanga Madhukalya of Dibrugarh district in the state.

“The idea was conceived during the lockdown to fill the vacuum by developing such an alternative to the Chinese app TikTok. The app – Tip Teapi will work similar to TikTok,” Kotoky, who is in charge of sales and marketing of the app, has been quoted as saying. She also said the app has privacy protection unlike Chinese apps.

Tip Teapi is similar to TikTok and allows users to make friends, follow others, like and comment on videos, as well as share them via other social media sites. The developers have also said that they have introduced the app with an aim to provide people with a platform to showcase their talents or skills in 12 different categories such as music, art, drama, cooking, science and education.

Naga musician to hold concert at orphanage on Valentine’s Day to raise funds

Naga musician Alobo Naga will hold a music concert at an orphanage in Dimapur on Valentine’s Day.

The Ebenezer Orphanage had recently posted an advertisement on a social media group looking to sell its ‘Tata Sky HD- dish TV’ for Rs 1,500 in order to make ends meet. The advertisement was posted with a message that read: “Selling off to pay school fees.”

Alobo saw the advertisement and decided to raise funds for the orphanage. He is collaborating with a few of his friends for the event and a ‘free-will’ donation.


German ‘peace walker’ on cleanliness drive in border town of Manipur

Thomas Heinrich Schmöckel, who is from Greven in Germany, has been on a cleanliness drive in the tiny Indo-Myanmar border town of Moreh in Manipur. Schmöckel, a ‘peace walker’ has walked 24,000 km since 2007, covering 17 countries.

“We walk for peace, for this Earth, for ourself, between humans, between humans and animals, between humans and nature, and for a new age, a new consciousness,” he has been quoted as saying.

Schmöckel reached India in 2017. With a plan to walk to Myanmar and Tibet, he had headed towards Manipur and reached Moreh on 22 November last year. He, however, could not continue his walk further because the India-Myanmar border was closed due to the pandemic. He has since stayed put at a hotel in Moreh.

Schmöckel also said he has been creating awareness among people to keep the town clean and teaching residents about ways to maintain cleanliness of the Khujairok river that flows beside it.

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