Polly wants crack! Parrots ‘addicted to OPIUM’ wreak havoc on Indian farms as they ravage crops
- Parrots in India’s Madhya Pradesh state are tearing apart plants to feed the habit
- Local farmers say they are on near constant alert to stop the birds getting high
- The opium addicted parrots are stealing the farmers’ most lucrative crop
Flocks of parrots believed to be addicted to opium have been ravaging crops on Indian farms in order to feed their bizarre habit.
Footage recorded in central India’s Madhya Pradesh state shows the birds indulging in the unusual activity of tearing apart poppy seed pods to get to the opium inside – much to the chagrin of the local farmers.
The wild parrots have apparently learned to wait until the morphine-rich latex is exposed after the farmers slit the poppy pods to help them ripen.
They then silently swoop into the opium fields – having also learned not to squawk – and frantically nibble off the stalks below the pod.
The parrots have become so addicted that the farmers say they must be on near-constant alert to stop the birds eating the seeds and getting high.
Not only have the wild flock become a menace that is wreaking havoc across the state, but they are also stealing farmers’ most lucrative crop.
Caw-cane: Drug addled parrots are enraging farmers by plundering poppy fields to feed their opium addictions
The birds have learned to pounce on the morphine-rich latex after the farmers slit the poppy pods to help them ripen
After ravaging the fields the wild parrots then disappear to enjoy the treat from the safety of nearby trees
Opium cultivation is a costly affair; since it is a drug, a proper license is required in order to grow the plant.
Speaking about the bizarre behaviour of the birds, Dr R.S. Chundawat, an Opium Specialist at a Horticulture College in Mandsaur, said that opium gives the bird instant energy, much like when a human drinks tea or coffee.
Once the feeling was experienced by the winged creatures, they would have quickly fallen prey to the addiction, he said.