Around 16 sick peacocks were found in Kasan village in the Aravallis,17 km from Gurgaon,on Wednesday night,wildlife officials said,adding that they were trying to ascertain the disease.
Villagers,however,claimed that they found 15 dead peacocks,other than the 16 ailing birds.
The divisional forest officer (Wildlife) and the Animal Husbandry department maintained that there was no casualty,but 16 birds were found ill.
Veterinarian Neetu Gundlee of the Animal Husbandry department said: Police informed me at night that villagers have discovered 12 peacocks. They looked ill and were not moving. I told the villagers to search the area and they found four more sick birds by morning. I am not aware of any casualty, she said.
I advised the villagers to give the birds ORS. It seems they were suffering from dehydration over the past fortnight. I presume there could be 50 more birds in the wild taken ill by heatstroke, she said.
Though the monsoon has arrived and the weather has become pleasant,the birds might have been unwell for some time because of the heatwave that preceded the rains,she said.
DFO (Wildlife) Kulwinder Singh didnt agree with the veterinarian. Birds affected by heatstroke die instantly. They are suffering from a disease and that we have to find out. The birds have been sent to a rescue shelter in Gopalpur near Sultanpur, the wildlife official said.
The birds behaved peculiarly and were unable to move or fly. There are close to 250 peacocks and peahens near our village, said Dev Pal of Kasan.
Anima Shervani,founder member of the Manesar Industries Welfare Association (MIWA),said: The birds were found in the area where our plantation site is located. We are trying to create a forest for the local wildlife. Untreated sewage from the rural areas could be a source of danger to the birds.