Saving the Bone-swallower

Three birds in tree


In the heart of northeast India, on a desolate landfill site, a bird once considered a troublesome pest and a carrier of disease, the endangered Greater Adjutant stork scavenges to survive in an unlikely urban ecosystem. Known as the ‘Hargila’ or ‘Bone-swallower’, in the local Assamese language, it finds itself at the centre of a remarkable tale of an image makeover.

With fewer than 2000 birds remaining in the world, ‘Saving the Bone-swallower’ explores the unique lives of these endangered storks. It follows the quest of a grassroots level conservationist, Purnima Devi Barman, to save the last remaining birds with the help of an army of rural Assamese women as she gives them a new source of livelihood.

Purnima and her team are on a mission to rescue two orphaned stork chicks during their breeding season. With the help of Dr. Samshul Ali, she embarks on a journey to raise these orphaned birds and give them the life they deserve. But this journey is not without its obstacles. Purnima faces the daunting task of dismantling the chains of patriarchy, breaking barriers, and inspiring women to take the reins as conservationists. Witness as these birds regain their strength and prepare for their return to the wild.

‘Saving the Bone-swallower’ is a gripping, heartwarming tale of resilience and redemption, where the flight of the stork represents a shared dream of renewal and coexistence. Witness the power of community-based conservation, celebrating the incredible bond between humans and nature.


Part of Wings of Hope Shorts Block

Sunday 4/21 at 2:15pm

Monday 4/22 at 7:45pm

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17 minutes

Director: Mayuresh Kishor Hendre

Producer: Mayuresh Kishor Hendre

Language: Assamese, Hindi, English (subtitled)

Country of Origin: UK





Wildlife Conservation