MITHI, Aug 4: The failure of the Wildlife Department in controlling the Newcastle virus disease (NVD) has resulted in death of scores of more peacocks in villages of Tharparkar district. This was observed by a group of journalists who visited the affected villages on Friday.

A former councillor, Khet Singh, resident of resident of Vingar village told the team that some 10 out of 60 peacocks hit by the disease had died as he himself saw the carcasses.

Villagers brought a pair of birds to veterinarian Hotchond accompanying journalists who administered medicine. He gave feed of millet and syrup to villagers for sick birds.

Villagers couldn’t provide carcass of birds as its meat, they said, had been devoured by dogs, cats, falcons and other animals.

However, feathers of dead birds were found scattered in a nearby jungle.

A flock of peacocks were found rambling in a dense forest near Muhario village among which few appeared sick as it were unable to fly or move.

Ghulam Hussain, Ilyas and Chanesar said that two peacocks died last night whose carcass they saw being devoured by the dogs in the morning and they showed the journalists feathers of the dead birds.

Some five peacocks had died and a good number were sick while the measures taken by the Wildlife Department were merely press releases, villagers complained.

They urged the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and United Nations Environmental Programme to come to the rescue of peacocks by initiating immediate measures to fight the NVD.

Villagers due to lack of awareness have hung the carcass of dead birds on to the treetops instead of burying it, particularly in Jhun village where 20 peacocks perished.

There were also complains that now hens have caught the virus as many were reported dead.

Lachhman Thakur, a bird lover, keeps wheat, millet and rice in an open ground for peacocks daily in the morning and evening and gathers the birds by making a particular sound. He demonstrated the practise to journalists.

Villagers in Buli said that there were over 1,000 peacocks dwelling in the area while 15 birds died after catching virus. The wildlife team was yet to visit the village.

District honorary game warden Mr Shoukat said that vaccination of these birds was difficult because of its shy nature but medicine can be administered through feed.

He said the Conservator and his deputy have established temporary headquarters in Mithi.

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