Rajasthan govt orders probe into death of 1000 birds

Rajasthan govt orders probe into death of 1000 birds

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. (PTI Photo)

The state government has ordered an investigation into the death of around 1000 birds in the vicinity of Sambhar lake, said Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.

The chief minister has ordered the probe following which water samples have been sent for testing. Carcasses of various species of migratory birds can be seen in the muddy grey saltwater of Sambhar lake. According to the forest department, carcasses of 1,992 migratory birds have been buried since the mass ‘mystery’ fatalities were reported first. The total toll of dead birds is around 4,000.

Meanwhile, scientists from the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), who reached the lake on Wednesday, pointed out that the majority of carcasses, recovered from the lake, were mostly five to six days old and decomposed.

Terming the birds' death as 'worrying,' the chief minister said that the government was taking "immediate steps to prevent deaths during this migratory season." "Protecting flora and fauna remains one of our top priorities. Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF) and several teams of the Animal Husbandry Department are at Sambhar Lake. Chief Wildlife Warden (CWLW) and CCF are monitoring the situation," he said.

The chief minister said that water samples have been sent for testing. "Carcasses are being sent to Bhopal for testing for bird flu. Toxicologists have also been called from WWI and SARCON, Coimbatore," he said. "Once investigations are complete, we will do everything possible so that no more birds lose lives," he tweeted.

According to the experts, most of the birds were found to have suffered paralysis. Some predict that weak migratory birds, exhausted from the long journey, may have succumbed to stress from shortage of food and susceptibility to disease/pollutants.