Sambhar: At least 1500 of migratory birds of about ten species were found dead around Sambhar Lake, , the country’s largest inland saltwater lake near Jaipur in Rajasthan.
Officials said they suspect water contamination as one of the reasons for the deaths but were awaiting viscera test reports. Though the official toll was 1,500, locals claimed the number of dead birds could be as high as 5,000.
According to reports, the carcasses of 669 birds were buried in a ditch, while many still lay strewn around. The dead birds included plovers, common coots, black-winged stilts, northern shovelers, ruddy shelducks and pied avocets.
Officials are yet to ascertain the cause of the deaths but suspect that the reason was a hailstorm that hit the area a few days ago. They are awaiting the viscera test reports. “We are also looking at other possibilities like toxicity of the water, bacterial or viral infection. This is not a case of hunting. We suspect that water was contaminated which lead to death of birds in this huge number,” forest ranger Rajendra Jakhar said.
Notably, a medical team from Jaipur has collected a few carcasses, while water samples are being sent to a laboratory in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, for further examination. This is the second such incident in the state within a week. On November 7, as many as 37 demoiselle cranes were found dead in Jodhpur’s Khinchan area. Their viscera reports are also awaited.