Amid an avian influenza scare in several states, nearly 200 birds, mostly crows, have been found dead in Uttarakhand’s Dehradun and Rishikesh, officials said on Monday. A total of 165 birds were found dead in different parts of Dehradun on Sunday, including 121 crows in the Bhandari Bagh area only.
There were 162 crows, two pigeons, and an eagle among the dead birds found in Dehradun, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Rajiv Dhiman said. Chief Wildlife Warden JS Suhag said the samples of the dead birds have been sent to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute in Bareilly to ascertain the cause of their death.
More than 30 birds were found dead at different places in and around Rishikesh, triggering a bird-flu scare in the town. Twenty-eight crows and a pigeon were found dead on the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) premises, one avian death was reported from the Bees Bigha locality and two such deaths were reported from the Raiwala station, government veterinary officer Rajesh Raturi said.
The samples of the dead birds have been sent to the forest department for further action, he added. Confirming the avian deaths, Rishikesh Municipal Commissioner Narendra Singh Quiriyal said a temporary ban on the sale of bird meat can also be imposed in the public interest, if necessary.
Raturi said though 28 crows and a pigeon were found dead on the AIIMS premises, the security guards at the facility handed over the carcasses of only five crows and the pigeon to officials and buried the remaining ones as the birds were long dead.