Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 17:
Experts of OUAT (Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology) today indicated that the hoards peacocks and other birds that were found dead in Odisha’s Khurda have most likely died of poisoning.
OUAT Veterinary Pathology Chief Prof. Susen Panda today made the observation based on the postmortem conducted on 20 birds in the first phase and another six birds in the second phase that died later.
The institute, however, plans to send the samples to other institutes outside the state for specific inputs on the type of poisoning that killed them in such large numbers.
“The findings of the postmortem are mostly leading to poisoning. However, we need to get it confirmed in the laboratory. The discussions are still on to conduct a specific test on poisoning. In the last six postmortems we carried out, the finding was consistent. The liver and muscles of all the birds were affected. The poison might be agro-chemicals or some non-conventional chemical, said Panda.
The Forest Department is also keeping a tight vigil on any developments on the issue given the existence of agricultural lands in the vicinity. The incident might repeat if it was caused due to agro-chemicals used in the fields.
“We are investigating the incident. A special investigating officer has been assigned to the case under the Wildlife Protection Act,” said Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) SS Srivastava.
Notably, in an unprecedented incident in Khurda, carcass of more than 20 peacocks, a crow and a heron were recovered from Madhupur forest on December 8. The birds were suspected to have died before 24-48 hours. The serial deaths of peacocks continue in the forest with odd cases coming out every other day.
While bird flu was suspected to be the reason behind the deaths initially, Bhopal based National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases on December 15 ruled out chances of avian influenza after testing the swabs sent by OUAT.