By Nizam Samoon 

Pak Voice, Tharparkar

The Wildlife Department, Sindh releases peacocks in their habitat after they survived and recovered from the contagious Newcastle disease locally known as Ranikhet, a viral disease that affects and kills various types of pheasants, birds of prey and peacocks.

On Monday, The Wildlife Department set free 20 peacocks after they recovered from the contagious disease of Ranikhet after receiving treatment by the veterinary doctors. According to the officials, the peacocks suffering from the Newcastle infection were brought to Wildlife Office in Mithi, Tharparkar for treatment.

These peacocks have just recovered from the deadly virus and are seen in good shape after their release in Thar desert area where they belong to.

Earlier this year, Pak Voices reported the death of at least 69 peacocks which succumbed to Ranikhet during an outbreak of the infectious disease.

Full of pride: A walk in the wild. There were at least 30,000 wild peacocks in the Thar Desert, but the numbers are rapidly declining, due to poaching and lack of effective conservation.

According to the veterinary doctors, the peacocks suffering from the disease locally known as Ranikhet experience swelling of the neck and discharging water from the mouth including the signs of dizziness and stiffness. They stop eating and drinking resulting in their death within three days of the attack of the disease.

Environmental and weather changes and a shortage of food and water could be the contributing factors to the deaths of one of the most beautiful birds in Thar.

After their recovery from the deadly disease, the peacocks were released in presence of media and local people in the village of Lobhar in district Tharparkar. Talok Chand Valasai, the Game Warden of The Wildlife Department told media that the peacocks were infected with Ranikhet and were being released upon complete recovery so that they live their normal life in their natural habitat.

A peacock proudly spreads its feathers after being set free. The Thar Desert is home to the largest number of wild peacocks in Pakistan.


Nizam Samoon is working with Pak Voices as a citizen journalist from Tharparkar. 

All photos by the author