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Sambhar deathbed: Avian death toll goes past 12,000 mark

With 4,132 more birds found dead around Sambhar Lake on Sunday, the death toll of avians has crossed 12,000 making it a tough challenge for the state to respond to.

Published: 18th November 2019 01:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th November 2019 10:15 AM   |  A+A-

Civic workers collect dead birds at the Sambhar Salt Lake in Rajasthan Tuesday Nov. 12 2019. | (Photo | PTI)

Civic workers collect dead birds at the Sambhar Salt Lake in Rajasthan Tuesday Nov. 12 2019. | (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

JAIPUR: With 4,132 more birds found dead around Sambhar Lake on Sunday, the death toll of avians has crossed 12,000 making it a tough challenge for the state to respond to.

The government has so far buried 10,861 birds, while some 325 injured birds have been rescued of which 229 are struggling for life with a deadly unknown disease.

Officials said, agencies involved were finding it difficult to clear and dispose the carcasses spread over a huge area on a daily basis, even as the actual cause of deaths was far from known.

The avian species affected include the Domicile Crane and Eagle Owl, a migratory bird arriving from Mongolia, besides the Northern Shoveler. Officials said, the state government is yet to zero in on the reason for the avian deaths and laboratory reports from three centres are still awaited.

A Bhopal laboratory had ruled out avian flu but the report on similar samples sent to IVRI Barielli is awaited too.

Experts have also raised questions over the way bird carcasses were being buried and disposed and fear that the current method could lead to an epidemic. The concern is more so, since the burials have not stopped the deaths.

“Clostridium Botulinum infection can be the reason for this tragedy. This bacteria can release toxins without oxygen too. Buried birds do not stop this bacteria from breeding,” Dr Asha Sharma, animal scientist said.

The task of picking rotting avian’s from the lakes has been left to Municipal workers even as Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot also suggested a specialized rescue centre for the birds at Jaipur.

However, personnel involved in cleaning operations in Nagaur area said they have not been provided boats to pick bird carcasses across the water bodies.

The rotting carcasses were infecting a larger area than earlier estimated.

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