Thiruvananthapuram: Hundreds of newly-hatched Indian Cormorant chicks were killed and numerous eggs destroyed when a tree was felled for widening of the National Highway in Kerala's Malappuram district.
The Kerala Forest Department has initiated a legal action against the "guilty" contractor. Indian Cormorant (known as Neerkaka in Malayalam) comes under Schedule 4 of Indian Wildlife Protection Act.
Expressing their ire, scores of locals gathered at the location where the chicks were lying dead.
"The Forest department officials owe us an answer on how this happened. The breeding season of these birds takes place between June and November and it is rather unfortunate that at the peak of the breeding season, this happened," the angry locals said. Better sense should have prevailed, they added.
Directing strict action against the guilty, State Public Works Minister P.A.Mohammed Riyas has sought an explanation from the National Highway Authority of India officials on the incident.