Farmers in Madhya Pradesh, India are livid. Their poppy crops are being destroyed by parrots who have become addicted to opium. Farmers say the birds swoop in and gobble poppy flowers with such speed that they are unable to act quick enough to stop them. In fact, some claim the birds have learned to fly in silence to avoid further detection.
Farmers say the birds make up to forty visits a day, razing poppy crops to the ground. In some cases, the birds have been spotted uprooting entire poppy plants, carrying them away to enjoy their fix in private. Afterward, the birds have been witnessed flying in circles, crashing into trees, and lying sprawled in nearby fields in a zombie-like stupor. When the narcotic effects of the opium wear off, the birds rise and fly back to the fields to get their next hit.
Farmers have endeavored to keep the menace in check. They’ve tried loudspeakers, scarecrows, and even firecrackers but the longing for the addictive plant is too strong. The birds ignore their efforts and use their beaks and claws to tear unripe poppy pods from the plant and ruin the crop.