At least 20 peacocks ‘mysteriously’ die in Tharparkar over weekend

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As summers approach and temperatures rise in the Thar desert region, reports of death of the region’s indigenous birds, the peacocks and their offspring, are increasing, with at least 20 of them reported dead in Sindh’s Tharparkar district on Sunday, Dawn has learnt.

Mohammad Sajan Charo, an activist from Dadsar village, said more than 15 birds were found dead in his area in the last two days. Charo further claimed that over the past few days, more than 100 peacocks have died in various villages of Tharparkar district.

Though the cause of death of the birds remains undetermined, the activist suspects it is because of the hot weather and the drought-like conditions prevailing in the region as well as a suspected outbreak of the highly contagious Newscastle disease, locally known as Ranikhet.

Charo, as well as locals, told Dawn they observed the peacocks and the peafowls developed swelling around their necks and beaks, following which they fall on the ground and suddenly die. They claimed that most of the peacocks were dying in that manner only.

When contacted, the Tharparkar District Game Officer Ashfaq Ahmed Memon said teams from the wildlife department have been dispatched to investigate the complaints.

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