A shortage of vultures is a problem for Bombay Parsis, who would leave their dead on towers for the birds to devour.

The shortage of vultures may soon force the Parsi religious community of Bombay to abandon its 1,200-year-old custom of leaving the dead to be devoured by birds.

The bodies are stripped naked and left for the vultures on a high round platform atop The Tower of Silence on Bombay's Malabar Hill.

After the birds have feasted, the human bones are swept off the platform into a deep well.

Sky burials date from the eighth century when the Parsis, also called Zoroastrians, were forced by their Muslim conquerors in Persia to leave their dead unburied.

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