Over 200 migratory birds found dead in Mah; bird flu ruled out
Aurangabad, Maharashtra, Feb 24 (UNI) Over 200 migratory 'shank' birds of red and green variety, were found dead in a lake at Gandheli near here in Central Maharashtra even as the animal husbandry department ruled out any symptoms of bird flu in them.
A post-mortem report, conducted by the Animal Husbandry department (AHD), has revealed that the birds died of pneumonia, AHD Deputy Commissioner J M Doiphode said adding ''no symptoms of bird flu were found in the migratory birds.'' However, samples of their viscera have been sent to the disease investigation section of the state government laboratory at Aundh in Pune and Bhopal-based High Security Animal Disease Laboratory, he said.
A sample of live bird is also being sent to the Bhopal laboratory, Mr Doiphode added.
The AHD team has also collected water samples to verify the doubts whether the birds died of contaminated water, he said.
The birds have been dying for the last few days and the Animal Husbandry department (AHD) team rushed the spot last evening when an alert villager informed them about the deaths, officials said.
The officials also said these birds, normally found in the hilly Ladakh region as well as in Europe, mights have died over a period of a week or so.
When contacted, ornithologist Dilip Yardi, who had visited the Gandheli lake today attributed the deaths of the birds to a suspected 'poisoning'.
Meanwhile, Nisarg Mitra Mandal Aurangabad founder president Prof Vijay Diwan ruled out a possibility of 'bird-flu' behind the deaths of the migratory birds.
''Many of the other birds were found completely fine near the lake, which indicates that there is no possibility of bird flu,'' Mr Diwan argued.
According to him, the delay in departure of these migratory birds may be one of the reason of their deaths. Since the mercury has been rising in the region now, the birds might have died of high temperature, he said.
He also said, of these two varities, red shanks migrate to India mainly from Europe and green shanks from Tibet as well as Ladakh, after an acute cold followed by a snow-fall there. These birds find the Indian winter climate more suitable.
However, they usually start their return journey before summer, he added.
Meanwhile, a four member team of ornithologists from the city rushed the lake to take stock of the situation.
The team is expected to collect water samples separately.
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