On Sunday, people living near the farmlands of Kondalangkuppam near Vanur in Villupuram district were in for a shock. The dead bodies of around 20 peacocks were discovered by people in the locality.
Forest officials suspect that the death could have been due to consumption of pesticides.
Speaking to The News Minute, M Arumugam, Forest Range Officer, said, “We came to know that the peacocks were found dead on Sundaymorning. It is possible that they died on Saturday night itself. We suspect that they would have either consumed pesticides or the crops which had heavy doses of pesticides,” he said.
He added that pieces of grains were found in the throats of the peacocks. “The post mortem was conducted on Sunday evening. We are sending the reports to the labs to find the reason for poisoning,” he said.
Forest social welfare activists from Scan Foundation had also visited the spot on Sunday. “The villagers informed us about the dead peacocks. We immediately informed the police and forest officials. We suspect they were killed by farmers who wanted them for their feathers and meat. The farmers can sell the meat to nearby hotels,” said Jerald, Chief India Operations, Scan Foundation.
Moreover, he said that no FIR had been registered in the case till now. “The police officials claim that the crime comes under the jurisdiction of forest department and forest officials say that they are investigating the case,” he said.
He added that killing peacocks comes under Schedule-I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and it is a non-bailable offence.
When asked about the complaint, Arumugam, Forest Range Officer said, “We are investigating the case, how can we file a complaint unless we come to know the reason for the deaths? Moreover, how can we file a case against farmers without having any evidence? After we find the reason for the death, we will surely file a complaint. We are questioning the farmers living around the place,” he said.
Jerald said he had informed the Secretary of the Forest Department that no FIR had been filed and warned that if no action was taken, he will write to the Prime Minister about it.
Not just in Villupuram, two peacocks were found dead in Kollam district in Kerala also last week.
The forest officials claim that they died due to the electricity lines in the area. The peacocks come to urban areas due to biting cold inside the forest, said a report.