Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): In all 42 peacocks died in last four days in Donsa village in Morena district, pointing to poaching rackets involved in the region. On June 16, 12 peacocks were found dead. Of the total, 30 died on Sunday. Though, post-mortem reports have yet to be released, the team of doctors that conducted the autopsy have found toxic elements in the bodies of the national birds.
According to information, 30 peacocks were found dead in Donsa village that comes under Shanichara forest range. The villagers, who owned farms near the forest, had spotted dead birds and informed forest department officials.
The post-mortems were conducted at Bamore Veterinary Centre by three doctors. The viscera reports were sent to Sagar, Jabalpur and Gwalior laboratory to confirm poisoning. Forest department sources said that wheat and rice were found at the spot. It is believed the poachers would have put poisonous wheat and rice to kill national birds for meat and feathers.
Dr Vivek Shrivastava, who was a part of post mortem team, confirmed that toxic elements were found in the body. “We have sent samples to laboratory to identify toxic elements and also to ascertain as to how it was injected in bird’s body. The forest department officials have also collected samples of wheat and rice and sent it to laboratory for further examination. We will conclude only after receiving all reports of samples we have sent to laboratory for further examinations,” he said.
Morena Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Amit Nikam confirmed the death and said possibility of poaching cannot be ruled out. “It is true that wheat and rice were recovered from the spot. The autopsy has been carried out and we are waiting for reports. We have also sent teams in areas to find out if any poaching gang is involved,” he told Free Press over phone.
Notably, peacocks are protected under Schedule-1 of the Wildlife Protection Act. It is not the first time that such large numbers of peacocks were found dead in the district.
In November 2016, nearly 50 peacocks were found dead in Sumawali forest range of the district. The post mortem reports had revealed that they were poisoned to death. The forest department had later arrested two persons on charge of poaching.