Nearly a dozen peacocks were found dead at Hasanpur, near here on Sunday.
The wildlife authorities who reached the village on Monday managed to recover only three carcasses as the remaining were either eaten by dogs and cats or buried by the villagers. The village is nestled in the foothills of the Aravali range.
The doctors of the local government veterinary hospital and wildlife officials turned up only after HT team informed them about the incident.
The doctors conducted post-mortem and found that the birds had died due to heat stroke. However, the viscera may be sent to the forensic science laboratory in Karnal for further study, said a doctor.
Initially, it was suspected that the birds had died due to food poisoning.
“The birds were found to have congestion in their lungs and there were small red patches in the muscles and internal organs. They died due to congestive heart failure due to heat stroke,” said Dr DS Joon, sub-divisional officer, Gurgaon veterinary hospital.
More carcasses are likely surface as the villagers have spotted several birds “limping and vomiting since the last few days”.
The peacock comes under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act-1972. Although the villagers had found carcasses of peacocks on June 9, they failed to inform the wildlife authorities.
The villagers said they couldn’t recall of such mass mortality among peacocks in the last 50-60 years.
The peacocks have made Hasanpur their home as it has thick green cover, thanks to ban on mining in this village.
“The number of peacocks in our village has grown over the years and their count must be over 50,” said Rati Pal, a 65-year-old villager.
“We feed peacocks. We suspect that they died due to some disease,” said Jeetram, another villager.
Another Hasanpur resident said some nomadic tribes hunt peacocks for food. Also, the peacock fat is used to treat arthritis.
Ruling out the possibility of any foul play, Gurgaon district forest officer Shyam Sundar, told HT: “We carried out a survey at Hasanpur on Monday and found no evidence to suggest that these birds were killed intentionally.”