Poonam Singh

Panic gripped Kotalanga village under Begunia Tehsil in Khordha District of Odisha after locals found several crows lying dead in the village on Tuesday morning, raising bird flu fears.

Two days earlier, the villagers had also spotted some carcass of crows lying in different parts of the village. 
Today morning, they not only found many dead crows, some more were also seen wriggling in pain. Following the back-to-back discovery of dead and ailing avail species, the panic-stricken villagers informed the Begunia Animal Husbandry department.

Following the receipt of information, a team of officials from the local Animal Husbandry department arrived at the village to investigate the reason behind the deaths.

The officials said the exact cause behind the crows' deaths is yet to be ascertained. They said samples have been collected and sent to the Animal Disease Research Institute at Phulnakhara for tests for further investigation.

“The officials assured us that they are keeping surveillance and will take necessary steps if Bird Flu is detected,” said a villager.

Meanwhile, the CDPO said a meeting has been convened on November 11 with the Forest department and Wildlife officials to check avian flu among the migratory birds in Chilika lagoon in Khordha. The migratory birds cover thousands of miles every year to reach the lagoon for a hospitable alternate habitat due to non-availability of food in their natural habitat due to the freezing temperature in the Northern hemisphere.