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With over 14 electrocuted birds in about six different areas throughout Trinidad which also caused an electrical blackout in communities—disrupting online school and work from home—Ricardo WL Meade, Director of the El Socorro Centre for Wildlife Conservation now feels that it is time for the implementation of humane solutions to the problem.

Speaking with the Guardian Media, Meade suggested that insulated wires be used in the areas where electrocution frequently occurs. Some of the areas identified so far include San Fernando, Trincity and Carapichaima.

In a recent incident last week, an electrocuted Osprey (sea/river hawk) caused a blackout in the Orange Valley and BrickField areas in Central Trinidad.

The Osprey and the American bald eagle are just two of many species of birds that migrate from the United States to Trinidad and other tropical islands for the winter season. Last Thursday just after 10 am the El Socorro Centre received information about an Osprey being electrocuted and standing on the road.

“This Osprey, was one of three which we would monitor on an almost daily basis. They can be found in the morning and afternoon eating their fish on the top of the lightpoles after the “z-bend” about two kilometres before Orange Valley. The bird with his fish came into contact with the electrical wires, and according to the T&TEC crew received 12,000 volts of electricity. When we arrived on the scene about half an hour later, the Osprey was in the bushes just off the road,” Meade said.

The bird, which suffered severe burns to its wings, tail, back, chest, head and feet, was taken to a facility in Orange Valley at the Community Facility and is now in the company of the centre’s other electrocuted Osprey who has been a patient for the past five weeks and is waiting for a procedure to replace his burnt tail feathers.

“We need to communicate with the higher-ups in the electricity company to employ humane solutions to this reoccurring problem,” Meade said.

“In Florida especially where this happens often enough with the Osprey because of their feeding habits and their behaviour landing on poles—and it happens to the American bald eagle and as the American national bird—whenever it happens there’s outrage and what it is now is that there are laws which the electrical companies are mandated upon the report of an electrocution to do an insulation on the site,” Meade said.

“It is not practical, sensible, feasible, financially able to insulate all the wires, thousands and thousands of miles of wires but just the electrocution sites which are chosen by the birds and repeated and they can determine that whenever a report is made they need to go an insulate that area to prevent a reoccurrence,” he added.

Meade emphasised that it is not just the life of a bird being saved but the effort will also prevent transformers from being burnt and communities being plunged into darkness.

He disclosed that officials at the centre are in process of building a case to present to the Minister of Public Utilities and the permanent secretary at the ministry to implement a policy or insulated wires to be installed at sites where electrocution reoccurs.