September 19, 2018

Namibia: Hippos Killed By Possible Anthrax Outbreak

11 October 2017, 01:24 | Randall Craig

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

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

Images from the Bwabwata National Park in northeast Namibia showed what appeared to be several hippo corpses lying flat on their backs with their legs in the air.

Agence France-Presse reports that some veterinary experts in the southwestern African country believe the sudden deaths may have been caused by anthrax. The number of deaths is 109 but they are not sure and their veterinary team is now working at the area to determine the cause of death.

Human cases of anthrax are also common in Africa, which has the flawless climate for the disease; approximately 2,000 people are affected by anthrax each year in Africa alone.

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.

"As we speak, the number of deaths is 109".

"This is a situation that we have seen before", Colgar Sikopo, director of parks and wildlife management, says in a New Era article. The toll is expected to go up as some of the carcasses could have been eaten by crocodiles in the area.

The hippos were found dead through the span of seven days, with the initial 10 deaths being accounted for October 1.

If confirmed, the anthrax outbreak wouldn't be the first, or even the worst, in recent years.

Such outbreaks are common in the region, added the official but insisted the disease is unlikely to spread further since the hippos lived in a remote part of the park.

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.

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