3 more peacocks die, toll reaches to 13

Berhampur: Three more peacocks, which were under treatment after being rescued from Pakidi hill in Ganjam district, succumbed to their sickness, official sources said today. With this, the death toll of the national birds in the area reached at 13 in the last five days, they said adding that all the birds had consumed cotton flowers mixed with pesticide.

While 10 other peacocks had earlier died in the cotton fields, three were rushed to the local veterinary hospital for treatment. "The birds died yesterday while under treatment," said forest ranger, Aska N C Dora. The 13 dead peacocks included nine females and four males, he said.

Preliminary inquiry by the forest officials suggested the poisonous pesticide used in the farmlands was suspected to be the cause of the death of the peacocks in the area, considered as the biggest habitat for the national bird in the country, the veterinary doctors sent the samples of the dead birds to the Bhubaneswar based Coordination Center for Wildlife Health (CCWH) for testing to ascertain the exact cause of the death peacocks. Meanwhile the officials have arrested one G.Sambha Shiva Rao in this connection. Forest officials said he claimed to have applied pesticides to save the crop from the peacocks. Rao was growing cotton around 60 acres of land in Ambuabadi and Kerikerijhola villages near the Pakidi hill.