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Bird death spreads scare

Balasore, Feb. 21: The district forest department has gone into a tizzy after finding about 40 birds of various species lying dead yesterday under a tree at a remote village in Jaleswar block.

Though the veterinary department suspects it to be a case of poisoning, it is carrying out a random serum test of domestic birds in the pocket to strike out bird flu as a possible cause of the mass death of birds such as crows, woodpecker, mynah and bats.

Assistant veterinary surgeon at Jaleswar Ranjan Das said: “We think it is a case of poisoning and not flu since bats, which are mammals, have also died,” said Das, adding that the post-mortem of some birds had been done.

Forest range officer of Jaleswar Pramod Das also said it was a case of poisoning after preliminary probe. “We suspect some goons might have put poison on the tree to trap bats. We have some evidence in this regard. Today, our team visited the spot but didn’t find any dead bird. The poison’s effect must have worn off with the rise in temperature,” he said.