The Gurgaon administration’s claim that there were no peacock deaths at Kasan village in the Aravalis has fallen flat on its face as an inquiry team of the wildlife department found seven buried carcasses on Saturday.
“We have found seven pits where highly decomposed carcasses of peacocks were buried,” Gurgaon conservator of forests (wildlife) Vinod Kumar told HT. After Hindustan Times raised the issue with senior officials, Panchkula’s additional principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) RK Sapra dispatched a team of officials to Kasan to probe the matter.
On Thursday, HT had reported that 10 peacocks had died while 20 had fallen sick under mysterious circumstances in the village adjoining the Industrial Model Township (IMT) Manesar.
However, authorities had denied the report.
Moreover, the Gurgaon district public relations officer had even sent out a press release on Friday. Quoting the deputy director (veterinary department) of Gurgaon, the release said there had been no deaths and only 19 birds were sick.
The carcasses found on Saturday were in highly-decomposed state and couldn’t be used for taking samples.
Villagers had buried the carcasses “fearing they would be eaten by dogs and cats”.
Peacocks come under schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and they can be buried only by the wildlife department after ascertaining the circumstances that led to their deaths.
Though the authorities earlier claimed that the birds died due to heat stroke — a contention challenged by villagers since the area has received rains last week — the wildlife department has decided to take samples of the sick birds who are recuperating at a veterinary hospital at Sadhrana and at the Wildlife SOS centre at Gopalpur.