Muzaffarnagar (Uttar Pradesh), June 8 : Peacocks in Uttar Pradesh are facing a major challenge to their lives from many village farmers who spray excessive pesticides in their fields but that is often get consumed by peacocks searching for insects there.
The latest incident surfaced in Bhaura Kalan Village of Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar District when nearly a score of peacocks, who had descended onto the fields to feed on insects, were seriously affected by some poisonous substance spread there
While eating the insects in the cultivated fields, the peacocks also swallowed the suspected toxic chemicals. And, some of them fell down unconscious.
Jagpal, a local villager of Bhaura Kalan, was working in the field when he suddenly noticed the peacocks in helpless condition. Some of them were gasping for breath while the rest were finding it very difficult even to stand on their feet.
He picked up two of the peacocks and rushed them to the village for urgent help. As soon as the news reached from word of mouth across the village, villagers converged to extend a helping hand for the peacocks stranded in the fields.
"I found them in the field and brought them to the village. I had to take help of some kids, as it wasn't possible for me to carry them alone. Soon, about 150 villagers gathered and we brought them here for treatment. We preferred veterinarians appointed by the State government to any private doctor," said Jagpal, villager.
"The peacocks were not in a condition to fly, as they were falling back on the ground repeatedly. It looked very bad," he added.
Villagers were furious to see how some people's act led to such a condition of peacocks. And, they have taken up the responsibility to care for the peacocks until they return to normal health condition.
At present, the affected peacocks are under medication.
A district level team has been set up to keep a check on similar cases elsewhere and to ensure rendering of proper medication under the supervision of veterinarians.
Forest Department officials have also swung into action after learning about the incident.
"Our first responsibility is to save the peacocks. A team from the district level is already on its way to be here and the veterinarian doctor has been arranged along with the required staff. I've come here along with other senior officials who are on their way," said Vijendra Mallik, the Forest Range Officer for Budhana in Muzaffarnagar District.
Moreover, the forest officials have decided to file an official complaint against the negligent officials for suitable action against the culprit farmers who sprayed excessive insecticides that affected the peacocks.
"We will file a complaint on behalf of the Forest Department but before that, our responsibility is to save the National Birds with everyone's cooperation. We'll file a case against the unknown accused as these birds wandering in the field feeds on the insects and due to the insecticides, has poisoned the birds as they feed on the insects," said Mallik.
Moreover, the officials have asked for cooperation from all villagers to ensure such situations don't occur in future.
" All legal formalities have been completed. As for the safety of the peacocks, we'll appoint one or two officials from the Forest Department to avoid any mishap in future," Mallik informed.
Poaching is the most vital cause of the plummeting peacock population across India, followed by environmental contamination caused by sprinkling of heavy pesticides and insecticides in the fields.
The Indian national bird, the peacock, is protected under Section 51, 1-A of the Wildlife Protection Act and its killing is strictly prohibited By Iqram Ali