February 24, 2018

Anthrax kills 109 hippos in Bwabwata

11 October 2017, 01:26 | Winifred Adams

Page no 1by Lugeretzia Kooper Anthrax kills 109 hippos in Bwabwata

Page no 1by Lugeretzia Kooper Anthrax kills 109 hippos in Bwabwata

Officials say 10 dead hippos were discovered in Bwabwata National Park in northeast Namibia last Sunday, followed by another 99 over the intervening days, per the Namibian.

The precise cause of the animals' deaths has yet to be confirmed, but some workers are putting it down to a disastrous outbreak of anthrax.

"Over 100 hippos died in the past week".

Anthrax, a potentially deadly bacterial disease, is known for killing big game, cattle, and sometimes even humans. The toll is expected to go up as some of the carcasses could have been eaten by crocodiles in the area.

Director of parks and wildlife management at Namibia's Ministry for the Environment and Tourism, Colgar Sikopo said that the same case has happened in Zambia before and it mainly occurs during the low level of the river.

The hippos were found dead through the span of seven days, with the initial 10 deaths being accounted for October 1. We suspect an anthrax outbreak, but our veterinary team is still to confirm that, " he said.

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More than 100 hippos were killed from a presumed Bacillus anthracis episode in Namibia, New China announced Monday.

Elephants and hippos were also killed by a 2003-4 outbreak in Namibia's Kasika Conservancy, Sikopo said, but this is the first incident in the 2,422 sq. mi.

The minister added that he would be alarmed if there were any further hippo deaths at the national park, which is one of the country's foremost tourist attractions.

He also said they are now monitoring the situation, and that the dead hippos are yet to be disposed of. Human deaths from anthrax in the USA are extremely rare.

Currently Namibian officials are focusing on preventing human exposure to the virus, by restricting contact with the dead hippos and suggesting locals not to eat them.

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