Staff Reporter

Cause of death not known

Authorities keeping a watch

Kolkata: With six districts in West Bengal in the grip of bird flu, the death of a migratory bird at the Santragachi Jheel (a water body) in Howrah district on Sunday created a flutter.

However, there was no official explanation on the cause of death. The bird belonged to the Lesser Whistling Teal variety. “We are yet to receive reports on the samples sent to the Howrah District Veterinary Hospital,” said Sanjib Chakaraborty, District Forest Officer, Howrah.

Another bird of the same variety died on January 5 for reasons not yet known.

The bird could have died because of the weather, Mr. Chakaraborty said.

As migratory birds were also believed to be susceptible to the flu, the authorities were keeping a watch on them.

There were about 5,120 migratory birds, which included cotton teals, pin-tailed ducks, cormorants and night herons at Santragachi, according to a census conducted on January 5, 2008.

The migratory birds usually nest in the area from November to March, leaving only when the young birds learnt to fly.

Authorities at the Alipore Zoological Gardens were also keeping a close watch on the bird population, said zoo Director Subir Chaudhuri. Chicken has been taken off the diet of zoo animals.