Poppy farmers in Slovakia are in a quandary as the local swans have got addicted to their crops.
Baltic News has reported that the swans first arrived at poppy farms in southwestern Slovakia’s Komarno town in February this year and have remained there since then. The birds not only destroyed the poppy crop at the farms but also ended up getting so intoxicated that they could hardly fly. This has made them highly vulnerable to predators. Many of the birds have also died of an overdose of poppy.
Swans in Slovakia found a poppy field and munched on the opium-producing plants to their hearts’ content for months 🦢 pic.twitter.com/RlhCpJxTis
— DW News (@dwnews) June 15, 2023
Since swans are a protected species in Slovakia, farmers cannot use force to remove them from the fields despite the damage being caused to crops.
Many animal lovers and volunteers from groups like the Slovak Environmental Protection Agency have since tried to relocate the swans. The change in location could help in ‘detoxifying’ the birds. However, experts are concerned that the swans may return to the poppy fields on recovering.
DW News shared a video on Thursday of volunteers catching intoxicated swans from poppy fields to relocate them.