Gondia, Nov 23 (PTI) A pair of Sarus cranes was found dead in a paddy farm in Maharashtra's Gondia district, with forest officials suspecting the birds died of electrocution.
After being alerted on Tuesday, forest personnel rushed to the spot and found the carcasses of the two cranes under an electricity transmission line passing through the paddy field in Kamtha village, Assistant Conservation of Forest Rajendra Sadgir said in a release.
This indicates the birds might have come in contact with a live wire and collapsed, the official said, adding that they have launched a probe into the incident.
According to wildlife experts, Sarus crane is the tallest flying bird in the world and its numbers are dwindling in Gondia.
Sarus is also listed as a vulnerable species in International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) red list.
The birds had brought a new identity to Gondia, with a large number of people from the Vidarbha region and other places coming to watch them.
After the two carcasses were found on Tuesday, a senior engineer of the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) was summoned to the spot, the forest official said.
Some bird activists also visited the spot.
Honorary wildlife warden and local NGO Sustaining Environment and Wildlife Assemblage's (SEWA) president Sawan Behekar claimed that as per a census conducted by them with the forest department in July this year, there were only 34 Sarus cranes in Gondia.
He stressed the need to address the issue effectively at the ground level.
Behekar said electrocution, poisoning and the destruction of habitat were the main causes of the death of these birds in Gondia. PTI COR GK GK