Amreli is in India.
AHMEDABAD: At least 40 demoiselle cranes were found dead near Victor Dam at Rajula in Amreli district.
While preliminary investigation suggested the migratory birds died due to breathing problem, experts are not ruling out the possibility of bird flu.
"We carried out the post-mortem locally and doctors opine the birds died of breathing disorder. We have sent the samples to the veterinary hospital in Jungadh to know whether the birds were infected with avian influenza," said district forest officer G C Makwana.
Dr Asad Rahmani, director of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), said, "The possibility of bird flu cannot be ruled out since the cranes died in large numbers. The forest department should collect the blood samples and send them to the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory in Bhopal."
On Saturday, volunteers brought five dead cranes to the forest department office in Rajula and one was in its last throes. The crane was treated and was sent to the forest hospital where its condition is said to be stable.
Interestingly, two kites were also found dead in the same area. Officials believe that scavengers might have fed on the carcass of the cranes.
Dinesh Goswami, a wildlife activist, said, "I was in the area and about 10 cranes died within 30 minutes. It looked like the birds were having some breathing trouble and were frothing as well."