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Drugged-Out Parrots Raid Poppy Fields in India for Opium Fix

Mar 28, 2017 10:00 AM EDT
Wild parrots have been terrorizing the poppy fields of India, raiding the flowers for a dose of its addictive opium.
(Photo : Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Something strange is going on with the parrots in India. Wild parrots have been terrorizing the poppy fields, raiding the flowers for a dose of its addictive opium.

The birds wait patiently as the farmers cut open the flower pods to help it ripen, according to a report from Daily Mail. When the coast is clear, the cunning parrots descend to munch on the stalk below the pods, where much of the opium in the plant is located. They have learned to operate quietly, so the farmers are not alerted by their presence.

Before being spotted, the parrots fly back on the trees where they proceed to sleep for hours at a time after their drug binge and even occasionally falling to their death, a report from Mirror revealed.

Read Also: Feathered Fun: Kea Parrots Display Contagious Laughter, High-Five in the Air 

Wild parrots have been raiding the poppy fields of India since 2015 in Chhirrotgarh, Rajasthan, but recent months have the phenomenon escalating and spreading to different regions like Neemach, Madhya Pradesh 40 miles away. The situation has gotten so bad that the government's narcotics department have been issuing warnings to farmers, taking note of their decreased yield.

Opium farmer Sobharam Rathod said that parrots are swiping about ten percent of his crop.

"We have tried every trick possible to keep the birds at bay but these addicts keep coming back even at the risk of their life," he explained. "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."

Some of the methods the farmers use to attempt scaring away the birds are firecrackers, tin drums and hurling stones at them. However, none of it has worked so far. Others have tried covering their poppy fields with nets, according to Odisha360.

Read Also: 61-Year-Old Man Contracts Rare Fatal Pneumonia from His Pet Parrots  

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