10 peacocks die in Ganjam, 1 arrested

Berhampur: At least 10 peacocks died near Pakidi hill range in Orissa`s Ganjam district, the home to a large number of the national birds in last two days, forest department officials said today. The birds died after consuming pesticide used in growing cotton. Forest officials recovered at least seven dead birds from the cotton field near Kerikerijhola and Ambuabadi villages near Pakidi hill, while three other sick birds died during treatment, the sources said.

"The birds died by consuming the flowers of cotton, applied with the poisonous pesticides," said divisional forest officer, South Ghumusar Ramesh Chandra Sethi. G Sambha Shiva Rao of Timapur in Andhra Pradesh`s Gunturu district, was arrested on charge of killing the national birds under the sections of Wildlife Protection Act. Rao had been growing cotton crop in around 60 acres in the area and admitted to having applied the pesticides to save the crop from the peacocks, said Aska forest ranger NC Dora.

Death of the national birds came to light, when several members of the peacock protection committee informed the matter to the forest officials. "We have deployed a squad in the area along with some members of the protection committee to prevent the birds entry into the cotton field after the incident," the DFO said.