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Sharmili Mallick

Migratory birds reportedly in hundreds of numbers were found dead at a farmland near Ratamati village under Tangi Forest Range in Khordha district on Saturday morning.

Forest officials rushed to the spot after receiving the information and collected samples from the carcasses of the birds to the range office for post-mortem.

The officials are suspecting that unidentified poachers might have laid traps and poisoned the migratory birds to death. However, the exact reason behind the incident will be established in the post-mortem reports.

Meanwhile, range officer of Tangi denied the death of hundreds of avian species and said around 30 to 40 dead birds were found in the farmland. 

The range officer said that due to the high demand for aquatic bird meat in nearby towns like Bhubaneswar, Balugaon and Berhampur, poaching activity has been increasing in the Chilika Lake and its adjoining areas.

It is also being alleged that aquatic bird meat is also being sold at the roadside eateries (dhabas) along the National Highway 16 passing close to the lake.

Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) of Chilika Wildlife Division, Sarat Chandra Mishra had earlier informed that over 4,00,00 birds of 95 different species have arrived in the 1,100 square kilometres vast coastal lagoon while most of them have perched down on the 15.69 square kilometre Nalabana, the bird sanctuary area inside the Chilika lake.

Earlier on December 14, the wildlife officials had arrested two migratory bird poachers and seized seven carcasses of six different species of the birds from Chilika Wildlife Division.

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