Mrunal Manmay Dash

Keonjhar: Amidst the outbreak of herpes virus at Nandankan Zoo in Bhubaneswar, a sick elephant was spotted by a team of forest officials at Sumath village under Bansapal block in Keonjhar district yesterday.

The forest officials of the Bhuyan-Juanga-Pidha forest range are now guarding the elephant and monitoring its health condition as the reason behind the jumbo's illness still remains unknown.

Assistant Conservator of Forest, Ghanashyama Mahanta said,"We are trying to assess its condition. A specialised team from Similipal is on the way to further examine the health of the pachyderm."

A veterinary medical team from Similipal is scheduled to visit the spot to treat the ailing elephant today.

Veterinary expert Bandita Mishra said, "External signs indicate of stomach upset caused by some parasites. We will know better once all the pathological tests are done."

Notably, Nandankanan zoological park recently witnessed four elephant deaths due to herpes virus infection. Although it's still early to say whether the elephant in Keonjhar is afflicted with herpes virus or not, all eyes will be on the treatment and diagnosis of the veterinary team.

Earlier, an ailing elephant was spotted near Banra in Cuttack district on September 26.

A team from Orissa University of Agriculture & Technology (OUAT) and specialist from Assam had visited the spot to assess the health condition of the pachyderm. The samples collected from the animal have been sent for tests, official sources said.

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