Sonkatch (Dewas district): Panic prevailed in Gandharvpuri and its adjoining villages under Sonkatch tehsil after dozens of crows were found dead on roads on Monday. Villagers who were witnessing the death of birds for the last one week claimed that dozens of crows were found dead on village roads and in farms.
Local resident Kalpit Jain said they saw few birds lying on the road four days back. With every passing day, the number of bird deaths increased. Jain asked administration and health department to take samples and send them to the state laboratory for tests that will reveal actual cause of deaths.
Ramesh Kumbhakar and Rakesh Chooudhary said crows, which used to flock in their house courtyard, are missing. “Their numbers have reduced,” they remarked. Local veterinarian Jagdish Dayar said he informed Sonkatch veterinary extension officer Dr Vikram Malviya soon after villagers told him about dead crows. Dr Malviya visited the spot and sent samples of the dead crows to Bhopal lab for investigation.
Before Sonkatch, panic gripped several parts of state after hundreds of crows died in three districts in last one week. While post mortem reports of dead crows sent from Mandsaur and Khargone to High Security Animal Disease Laboratory in Bhopal are awaited, the strain of H5N8 avian flu has been detected from the samples sent from Indore. Mandsaur, bordering Rajasthan, have reported death of more than 200 crows in the past three days. Of these, most crows were found dead in Mandsaur district court premises.
In Khargone district's Kasrawad area, 20 crows were found dead in past two days and the count is likely to go up as district administration has alerted field officers of veterinary department after Indore samples tested positive for H5N8.
In Indore, the district health department has conducted a door-to-door survey within a radius of 1 kilometre from the Daly college premises where maximum numbers of crows were found dead. According to district officials, no one was found to have any symptoms while only 10 people were found to have cough and cold. The Indore zoo has also been alerted and asked to take necessary steps for disinfection.