January 3, 2014 at 9:27 pm #2040MikeKeymaster
Anthrax outbreak kills hundreds of animals in Zimbabwe national reserve
Posted on January 11, 2012 by The Extinction Protocol
January 11, 2012 – AFRICA –
More than 165 wild animals including 88 hippopotamuses have died amid an outbreak of anthrax in Zimbabwe. The hippos were found dead alongside 45 buffaloes, 30 elephants and two kudos in the country’s northern Mana Pools national park.
Zimbabwean Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokeswoman Caroline Washaya-Moyo told the state-owned Herald newspaper that tests had proved the hippos were killed by anthrax. She added that the cause of death for the other animals had not yet been confirmed but said early signs suggested they had also fallen victim to the infectious disease.
Ms. Washaya-Moyo said she feared the outbreak could spread to other wildlife in the protected reserve, which lies around the lower Zambezi River.
She said: ‘Our office has confirmed the anthrax outbreak following the death of the animals in Mana Pools. The Authority engaged the vet offices who later collected samples from hippos for lab testing. The lab test confirmed that 88 hippopotamus died of anthrax.’
Officials are today conducting further tests on the affected animals, which are all believed to have died in the last few weeks. Government veterinary officer Chris Foggin said a team of specialists had visited the area and were burning the carcasses of the dead animals in an attempt to prevent the infection from spreading.
He told the Herald: ‘A number of animals have died, but we have visited the area and we sealed it off and we are burning the carcasses to prevent any further spread, an action well considered now that the lab reports confirmed anthrax as the culprit.’ Mana Pools is one of Zimbabwe’s most famous national parks. –Daily Mail
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