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Drug-addicted parrots are plundering India’s poppy fields to get… err… high

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After eating the poppy pods, they sleep for hours, and sometimes even fall to their death.
Image for representation
India’s poppy fields are facing a new kind of challenge- drug-addicted parrots.
The Mirror UK reported that these birds are plundering the poppy fields to satiate their opium addiction, even risking their lives.
The clever birds patiently wait for the farmers to slit open the flower pods to help them ripen.”The parrots then swoop down in silence into the opium fields – having learned not to squawk – and frantically nibble off the stalks below the pod before they are spotted,” the report states.

Once they return to the branches with the plant, they eat it and sleep for hours, and sometimes even fall to their death.
This phenomenon was said to have been first spotted in Rajasthan in 2015 and now seems to have spread to other regions of the country as well, according to the report.
Some farmers claim that this has led to reduced yields and that they are even getting warnings from narcotics department of the government which regulates opium farming.

Sobharam Rathod, an opium farmer from Neemach in Madhya Pradesh, told Mirror, “Usually, the parrots would make sound when in a group. But these birds have become so smart that they don’t make any noise when they swoop on the fields.”

He added that while they have tried to take several measures to keep the birds away, none of those have worked so far. “Like we keep an eye on them, but they also keep an eye on us. The moment you lower your guard the army of parrots silently swoop onto your field and take away the bulbs.”

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