Dead bats create panic in Gorakhpur’s Belghat area
Panic gripped Gorakhpur’s Belghat area on Monday after over 300 bats were found dead in a mango orchard.Updated: May 27, 2020, 08:49 IST
Panic gripped Gorakhpur’s Belghat area on Monday after over 300 bats were found dead in a mango orchard.
Even as the authorities rushed to the site to collect carcasses and send it for medical examination to ascertain the reason behind mysterious deaths, rumours on social media linked it with coronovirus outbreak, albeit without any scientific basis.
Many thought it could be because of heat and absence of water body around prompting locals to arrange water pots for mammals.
Reports said carcasses were strewn on ground in orchard owned by one Dhruv Narayan Singh and were first spotted by locals.
“We received information about death of bats at around 8am following which our ranger went to the site and collected around 58 carcasses in a jar. These will be sent to Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) Bareilly for autopsy. Prima facie they appeared to have died of heat stroke or could also be a case of consumption of insecticides,” Avinash Kumar, district forest officer.
“The bat used to live on nearby trees. The forest officer believes that they might have died of heat and absence of water and have asked us to place water pots here for bats. A brick kiln is also located close to orchard and its pollution may have also cause deaths,” said Dhruv Narayan, orchard owner.
Professor PH Pathak of the department of zoology at DDU Gorakhpur University said: “The disease White-nose syndrome which is caused by fungus may be the possible reason behind the mass deaths of bats. The disease has been reported abroad in which the entire colonies of bats dies.”
White-nose syndrome is an emergent disease of hibernating bats that has spread from the northeastern to the central United States at an alarming rate.
“Never in the past we have seen bats dying like this. This is mysterious,” said a local.