A group of swans in southern Slovakia has developed a dangerous addiction to poppy seeds, which are used to make opium and heroin. The birds have been feeding on the sprouts of the narcotic plant in the fields near the Danube River, and have become unable to fly or leave the area.
According to local media reports dozens of swans have already died from eating the toxic poppy plant, and more than 150 are still at risk. Poppy consumption causes a narcotic intoxication in the swans, making them sluggish and vulnerable to predators.
The farmers who grow the poppies have suffered losses of about €10,000 due to the swans’ appetite for the crop. They have tried to scare away the birds with loud noises and dogs, but to no avail. The swans seem to prefer the poppy fields over their natural habitat of lakes and rivers.
The authorities have intervened to save the remaining swans from their deadly addiction. They have captured some of the birds and transported them to a rehabilitation center, where they will undergo a detoxification process. The rest of the swans will be relocated to a safer location away from the poppy fields.
The experts say that this is a rare and unusual case of animal addiction and that they hope the swans will recover and return to their normal lives soon.