More Than 100 Hippos Died Because of Anthrax Outbreak
More Than 100 Hippos Died Because of Anthrax Outbreak
Rangers at Bwabwata National Park say at least 109 hippos have been killed in a week after a suspected anthrax outbreak
11 October, 2017, 11:35
Shifeta also told press that any further hippo deaths would be alarming; Bwabwata National Park is one of Namibia's main tourist attractions, and there were only an estimated 1,300 hippos in the area before this recent spate of deaths.
Parks deputy director of the north-east regions, Apollinaris Kannyinga, confirmed the deaths to The Namibian yesterday, saying the hippos have died from Sunday last week. A past flare-up in Ugandain 2004 remaining no less than 180 hippos dead, while a year ago more than 2,300 reindeer died in the wake of being tainted with Bacillus anthracis amid a heatwave in Siberia.
"Our veterinary services are now working at the area to determine the cause of death".
Anthrax is a bacterial disease commonly associated with arid climates like the African savannah, where it kills game, cattle and sometimes humans.
"This is a situation that we have seen before", the Ministry's Director of Parks and Wildlife Management Colgar Sikopo told the New Era newspaper. "It happened in Zambia before and it mainly occurrs when the level of the river is so low".
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This isn't the first time anthrax caused mass hippo deaths.
"We even saw the one in Tanzania, so as much as the numbers seem to be high, the hippo population usually recovers", he said.
More than 100 hippos are "killed by Anthrax" in Namibia as shocking images show them bloated and lifeless on their backs.
In order to curb the spread of the disease, Namibian authorities are focused on preventing human exposure to the virus, both by limiting contact with the dead hippos and by advising locals not to eat them. Antibiotics can treat the Anthrax but treatment needs to begin soon after infection.
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