New Delhi: As a few bats lay dead in a mango orchard at Beighat area in Uttar Pradesh, the owner of the farm immediately informed forest officials of the incident. By the time the forest team arrived on the spot, more bats dropped dead from trees within an hour and death tally went up to 52.
This created panic among the people in the area and the dead bats were immediately sent for examination by the forest department.
While speaking to the media, divisional forest officer Avinash Kumar said: “Three of the bat carcasses have been sent to Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) in Bareilly for examination to know the exact reason behind their death. The deaths could have occurred due to the heat wave or even pesticides. It is not right to link the death to corona right away.”
A senior citizen of the village while speaking to reporters said: “We have experienced heat waves earlier too and deaths on such a large scale have never taken place earlier. Besides, who keeps water for bats? There is something wrong about this though the officials are trying to downplay the issue. How can 52 bats drop dead within an hour?”
“I have seen on television that bats are responsible for the Coronavirus. Officials must take this seriously and act accordingly. We are all apprehensive because something like this has never happened before,” said another villager.