Tedui, UP Feb 25 : Over a dozen peacocks have died mysteriously at a village in Uttar Pradesh's Allahabad District, officials have confirmed.
The mysterious deaths were reported from Tedui village. "More than 50 peacocks were living in the vicinity, but for the last two to three days, more than a dozen have died suddenly and the reason for their death is not clear," said Raju, a local.
Veterinary officials have collected samples from the dead birds to ascertain the cause of death.
"So far we have done an autopsy of three peacocks. We are now sending some of the bodies to a laboratory in Lucknow to ascertain the cause of death. We suspect that the deaths could have been because of poisoning," said D.R. Ram, a veterinary doctor.
The blue peacock, scientifically known as Pavo Cristatus, is regarded as one of the most beautiful birds throughout the world and is provided with adequate safety in India, under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
The poaching of this swan-sized bird, with a long and slender neck, is a punishable offence.
The peacock is India's national bird and its feathers, adorned by the mythical Hindu god-king Krishna, are considered auspicious.
Besides natural factors, the destruction of habitats, poaching and contamination of food, are severely hampering the growth of the peacock population.