ROURKELA: Even as the scare of Ranikhet Disease (RD) gained ground with death of crows being reported from Bonai and Sundargarh on Wednesday, oblivious of the health risks, a fringe population in Rourkela city are merrily feasting on dead crows, both for the palate and to get rid of some ailments.
A daily-wage earner Dayal Badaik of Azad Basti at Sector 20 recently found three dead crows and took them home for a family feast. Unaware of the RD virus causing widespread death of crows, Badaik on Thursday said he found the crows floundering on the ground and soon they died. Badaik said the meat had a gamy smell and flavour.
For a sweeper boy of Sector 18 slum, the crow meat did what he never thought was possible. He father has given up drinking. It has been a fortnight since he clandestinely made his alcoholic father eat lever and bile of crow. Regular crow meat eaters believe it has healing properties and cures multiple ailments including asthma. It is also known to enhance longevity.
Mysterious death of crows has been unusually high for the past fortnight around the Rourkela House localities, but the incident remained unnoticed for lack of awareness. A garbage lifter of an NGO, Dilip Bag said he has disposed of 30 to 40 dead crows.
Chief District Veterinary Officer (CDVO) NB Dasmohaptra said on Thursday 10 more crows died at Bonai and Sundargarh of RD virus, adding he has no information of crow deaths in Rourkela. He said around 1.5 lakh RD vaccinations were injected to poultry population across the district which would additionally shield the poultry fowls from the avian influenza.
Sundargarh District Collector Rupa Roshan Sahu said the Animal Husbandry officials have been instructed to bury the dead crows, adding those unknowingly consuming crow meat would be sensitised over possible health risks.