This one could very well be lifted straight out of ‘Ripley’s Believe it Or Not’. Opium farmers in Pratapgarh, Rajasthan, have reported that parrots have been happily gorging on their crop and there’s nothing they can do about it. Considered the ‘pandit’ among common birds, parrots are tamed because they are believed to bless the household that they inhabit. However, now this ‘pandit’ seems to be corrupted, taking to opium and causing large-scale damage to crops in Pratapgarh. Opium is used in the manufacture of drugs while its seeds are used in the preparation of various exotic dishes. Needless to say, the few licensed farmers would want to make the most of their crop. However, that doesn’t seem possible anymore, not if parrots continue to have their way. “More and more parrots are getting addicted to opium and they have been destroying our crops,” confirmed Mokhampura farmer Narendra.
Opium seeds are sown on the onset of winters. It takes a couple of months for the plants to bear flowers and soon the fields are covered under a blanket of poppy flowers. It is from these flowers that ‘doda’ fruit develops. And it is this ‘doda’ that parrots await. Early in the morning, the birds swoop on ‘doda’, leaving it practically empty by the time they are done. Farmers have reported how some parrots are so high on the drug that they cannot even spot someone approaching them. The birds are even reported to fall off trees, in a daze, and fly away once they are sober. Some farmers have even captured such birds and tamed them, reportedly to teach a lesson to birds gone bad! (Also read: Boy Urinates on Elevator Control Panel, Gets Trapped When It Breaks Down (Video))
In damage control mode, farmers have even tried keeping guard but haven’t been very successful in warding off addicted parrots. They claim parrots strike very early in the morning in flocks and by the time men arrive on the fields, the damage is done.