MITHI, July 19: Expressing concern over a mysterious disease killing peacocks in Thar, social workers and animal lovers have urged officials of wildlife, veterinary and other related departments to save the rare specie from extinction.

Yousuf Hingorjo, Vijaisingh, Dhano and other residents of Bapuhar, Nathro and Bhtyan Ji Veri villages told Dawn on Thursday that more than two dozen peacocks and peahens were suffering from the disease. The birds become too weak to eat or fly and perish after some time.

Villagers alleged that although hunting and poaching had been banned in Thar but quite a good number of peacocks, their chicks and eggs, were taken away from the sandy region.

The population of bird has dwindled in Chhachhro and Diplo tehsils while it is still found in relatively large number in different talukas of Mithi and Nagarparkar.

Assistant Conservator Lajpat Sharma and Game Officer Ashfaq Memon said their team along had gone to Bapuhar village along with journalists on Wednesday where they saw five carcasses of peacocks. Two sick peacocks and one peahen had been sent to a laboratory to ascertain the cause and nature of their illness.

According to their information, they said, few peahens who had died in some villages were not buried but left in the open.

Perhaps, peacocks consumed the meat of peahens and died after catching infection, they said.

They called for holding meetings and seminars to create awareness among villagers and teach them how to protect the attractive bird.

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