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Odishatv Bureau

Cuttack: In the backdrop of several states in the country reporting the spread of bird flu of late, panic gripped a village in Banki area after locals found several migratory birds lying dead on Wednesday morning.

The residents of Banki Gada village spotted the carcass of around half a dozen of Ruddy Shelducks lying on farmlands adjacent to the village. Some other migratory avian species were also seen wriggling in pain. The birds, also known as Brahminy duck, are originally natives of Europe and Central Asia and fly over to the Indian sub-continent during winter.

Snake helpline members reached the village to look into the situation after some villagers sought their intervention to find out the reason behind the unusual death of the birds which flock the numerous water bodies in and around the district, most notably Chilika lagoon in Khordha, every year.

Though the exact reason behind the bird mortality could not be confirmed, snake helpline members have urged the Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) at Khordha to launch a probe into the deaths.

“We cannot say exactly how the birds had died. It may be due to poisoning or poaching. We also won't be able to claim whether the bird mortality was due to bird flu until the samples are tested,” said a snake helpline member.

Official comment from the concerned authorities is still to be obtained in this connection.

It may be noted that the Odisha government has claimed that there has been no reports of bird flu in the State so far.

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