Lonely Planet Writer

The sad plight of Nepal's royal pheasant flock

A golden pheasant at the Kathmandu Zoo, Nepal.
A golden pheasant at the Kathmandu Zoo, Nepal. Image by Bhaskar Pyakurel / CC BY-SA 2.0

During the extravagant final years of Nepal’s last monarch, Gyanendra Shah, the royal aviary at the king’s forest lodge in Shivapuri-Nagarjun National Park was stocked with hundreds of rare pheasants, many gifted by foreign dignitaries. These pampered birds lived lives of luxury, feasting on cashew nuts and other treats. With the abolition of the Nepali monarchy, the former king now lives on a commoners’ budget and the royal flock has been reduced to a shadow of its former self, with staff struggling to afford enough food for the surviving birds. Read more: in.reuters.com