When the first wave of Coronavirus hit different parts of the world, many a thought-provoking WhatsApp forwards posed a rather difficult question. What if this deadly virus had hit any species of the animal planet? We'd be mercilessly killing creatures. The only debate would be over a 'human' way of eliminating them.
A year down the line, that's precisely what is happening with Bird Flu scare allegedly sending everyone into a 'mass murder drive' of the avian family. The only difference is, there's no debate over a humane way of killing the birds. At least, so far.
A couple of days after reports of four lakh chickens being killed in Haryana comes yet another unsettling social media post. Looking at the pictures of ducks being carried away, a tweet speculated, "Ducks that would flutter around the pond inside the Lodhi gardens are now allegedly being mercilessly picked up to be buried alive or killed due to BirdFlu scare," posted a user.
But there is no official confirmation regarding the birds in Lodhi gardens being killed or buried alive due to bird flu scare. Instead, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has also cordoned off the duck corner in Lodhi Garden due to the bird flu scare after Delhi government on Monday declared that the national Capital is hit by bird flu.
"We are yet to decide whether to close parks. A direction in this connection might be issued by today (Monday) evening. We have, however, advised visitors not to go near the duck corner in Lodhi Garden and have cordoned it off and sprayed mixed lime in and around the enclosure to reduce chances of virus infection," an official was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.
The images, by now well circulated, show ducks being held by the nape or grabbed by the feathers before being taken away. While the caption, "from flutter to flu," by a photojournalist further underscores the depravity of the situation. But it doesn't say anything about ducks being culled or buried alive in Lodhi Garden. But they are just being cordoned off.
So far, no human transmission
With Delhi and Maharashtra figuring in the ten states to have confirmed cases of avian influenza, the efforts were stepped up throughout the states.
Dr KML Pathak, Former deputy DG, Animal Science, GOI, confirmed on Monday that there's not a single case of human infection in the nation so far. It was also reported, on Monday nearly 200 birds were found dead in the cities of Rishikesh and Dehradun in Uttarakhand. Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, on Monday, January 11, said avian influenza was already confirmed in 10 states. The reports also mentioned of 51 crows, 9 pigeons being found dead in Kanpur on Monday.
The first symptoms
Earlier in the month, about 1,800 migratory birds were found dead in Himachal's Pong Dam Lake in the Kangra district. One of the first incidents of bird flu scare in the country. Following which cases were also reported in the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Haryana. In the meanwhile, Byculla Zoo in Mumbai, renowned for a variety of 200 plus exotic aquatic species, has been put on high alert.