Buffalo dying too in Bwabwata from suspected anthrax

Buffalo dying too in Bwabwata from suspected anthrax

Buffalo dying too in Bwabwata from suspected anthrax

ABOUT 109 hippos have been killed in a suspected anthrax outbreak in western Bwabwata National Park in a week.

"We first noticed the deaths of 10 hippos last week Sunday, but the number increased during the week", Bwabwata National Park director Apollinaris Kannyinga told the Namibian. One service official said Namibia had never observed anything like this. "It happened in Zambia before and it mainly occurrs when the level of the river is so low". "Our veterinary services are now working at the area to determine the cause of death ... but the signs so far show that it could be anthrax", Namibia's environment minister says, per the Guardian.

Anthrax, a potentially deadly bacterial disease, is known for killing big game, cattle, and sometimes even humans.

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At the Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda in 2004, more than 300 hippos died from anthrax poisoning.

"We suspect an anthrax outbreak, but our veterinary is still yet to confirm that, " Kannyinga said.

"This is a natural cause and with the animals dying people should not panic, as it won't negatively affect tourism in the area", he added.

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According to the estimation from Government officials, before the mass death hippo population of Namibia was around 1,300. He warned that the exact death toll could be higher due to the possibility that crocodiles may have eaten some of the carcasses.

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. It needs rapid treatment with antibiotics or it can be fatal.

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