A large number of peacocks were found dead under suspicious circumstances in the Anaikkaradu forest area at Kaveriammanpatti village, Dindigul, on Monday.

While villagers put the number of dead birds at “more than 50,” Forest Department officials claimed that only 15 were found dead. The dead birds were found near some mounds in the forest. Expressing shock over the development, villagers put the blame on farmers, who cultivated the land near these mounds, suggesting that they could have poisoned the birds to protect their crops.