After rats, snakes and cats found dead in Kendrapara villages!

Kendrapara: Residents of Baliraj and Kumbharapada villages in the district are panicky after snakes and cats were found dead in the locality on Sunday.

Though it is suspected the snakes and cats might have died after eating mice that were found dead in large numbers in the locality on Saturday, villagers dread the prospect of the spread of some infectious disease in their area.

Surendra Pati, a resident of Baliraj village, said, “I am 83 years old and I have never seen anything like this before. We are panicky as cats, dogs are dying, not only mice.”

He added, “Poisoning could not be the reason as mice, cats and dogs are dying in the whole village as well as neighbouring areas.” Jharna Muduli, another villager, said.

“We think the rats might be dying due to poison. There is panic in the area as we could be the next victim,” he added.

Meanwhile, Chaitanya Sethi, District Veterinary Officer, said, “Yesterday we found 500-700 mice dead in Baliraj and Kumbharapada villages. The main reason is poisoning. It is possible that pesticides used during agricultural activities have seeped into the the soil after the rain. The mice residing underground could not tolerate the poison and came to the upper areas where they died.”

Sethi added, “We have advised people not let their cattle go outside to avoid drinking contaminated water. However, we can surely say the death of rats was not due to an infectious disease.”

Begging to differ, Shubhendu Mallick, Honorary Warden, Wildlife department, said, “The OUAT doctor who did the post mortem of the dead rats said the deaths were due to poisoning. But the places where the rats died does not point to poisoning. The doctors have also not confirmed anything yet. The carnivorous birds, snakes and other wild animals could have died after eating the dead rats.”

Asking locals to be cautious about the deaths of any wild animals, Mallick said, “We have asked them to inform us immediately about any such deaths. This seems unnatural. If this continues, it could become an issue.”