• otv
Dilip Kumar

Bhawanipatana: One more elephant reportedly died in Karlapat wildlife sanctuary here in Kalahandi district taking the toll to five in last 13 days. Veterinary experts attributed the death of the animal to haemorrhagic septicaemia.

The deaths of the five elephants in last 13 days have been reported from near Ghusurigudi nullah in the sanctuary.

The Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Sashi Paul had earlier said that the jumbo deaths might have been due to some bacterial infection. He said that the water bodies in the sanctuary could have been infected.

The last jumbo death was reported on Thursday near the same area. Prior that similar case was reported on February 10 and 9 in Ghusurigudi.

A team of experts from Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) which conducted the post-mortem of the animal found haemorrhagic septicaemia as the reason.

“Symptoms like ulcer in intestine and mouth, pneumonic changes in lungs and haemorrhages in the hearts indicate that the death is caused by a bacterial infection or haemorrhages septicaemia," said Niranjan Sahoo, Coordinator, OUAT.

According to information, the first such incident came to the light on February 1 after officials found a dead female elephant near Tentulipada village inside the sanctuary.

Divisional Forest Officer, Kalahandi (South Division), Ashok Kumar said that  the villagers have been advised not to allow their cattle inside the forest as it is suspected that the water bodies could be contaminated for some reason or the other.

Stagnant water is treated with bleaching powder to avoid further spread of infection and water samples were collected from different spots for testing, he said.

Following the mass death of elephants, the forest department has initiated mass vaccination programme for the domestic animals. Besides, various water bodies have been disinfected with bleaching powders.

The DFO said that the forest department would install cameras in forest to ascertain the reason of death.

On the other hand, death of an elephant calf in Nakatideula forest under Reirakhol division in Sambalpur has triggered panic among the locals as well as forest officials.

Experts who suspect anthrax as the reason of the death have sent flesh and blood samples of the dead elephant calf to the OUAT in Bhubaneswar for laboratory examination. Apprehending water infection, the forest department buried the water bodies in nearby areas in a bid to check further infection.

"Veterinary experts suspected anthrax as the cause of death. We collected the tissue and blood sample of the dead animal and sent them to the college of veterinary science of OUAT. The exact cause can be determined after the report came," said Pradipta Kumar Sahoo, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Rairakhol.

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