Gwalior, July 31
Four peacocks have been found dead under mysterious circumstances in Madhya Pradesh.
The dead birds found in a village in Gwalior-Chambal region included three males and a female.
The tragedy was first noticed by a villager who reported it to the police.
Police suspect poisoning to be the cause of the death of the birds, but a post-mortem report is awaited.
Police have identified seven persons as responsible for the crime, although no arrest has been made so far.
"When we reached the site of the incident, we saw the bodies of four peacocks - three males and one female. We have taken the bodies in our custody. Post-mortem is being done. Seven persons responsible for the crime have been identified and all of them would be tried under Sections 9 and 51 of the Wildlife Protection Act," said Anita Sharma, Station House Officer (SHO) at Tigra police station.
Bodies would be handed over to the wildlife authorities after the post-mortem, added Ms Sharma.
The peacocks had been killed allegedly for their meat, a lucrative delicacy sold at stiff price compared to that of other birds.
The area has an abundance of peacocks and a number of them are killed every year by the residents for meat and feathers.
Peacock, the national bird of India, is protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. However, poaching and illegal trade of their feathers continue.
Destruction of habitats, poaching and contamination of food sources are the major factors leading the birds to the brink of extinction.
The male Indian Peafowl, commonly known as the peacock, is one of the world's largest flying birds. — ANI