Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Concerned over a series of elephant deaths in Nandankanan zoo due to herpes virus, Odisha government has now pinned hopes on the newly-constituted committee of experts of the Central Zoo Authority (CZA).

Odisha Forest and Environment minister, Bikram Keshari Arukh today informed that following the deaths of four elephants in quick succession in Nandankanan zoo, the State government had sought the intervention of CZA. Based on the request, CZA has recently constituted a six-member experts team to review and suggest necessary treatment to tackle the elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus (EEHV).

The six-member team of veterinary specialists will develop a standard operating procedure to prevent jumbo deaths.

“As it was the first major herpes virus outbreak and there is no specified treatment, Odisha had requested CZA to suggest ways to tackle the situation. Already an experts committee has been constituted and we hope that something concrete will emerge after the committee’s first meeting,” said Arukh.

It is pertinent to mention here that female elephant ‘Julie’ was the first victim of the herpes virus at the zoo. Julie had died on August 27.

A few days later on September 16, the lone male elephant, ‘Chandan’ died in the zoo after being infected with the virus. Subsequently, sub-adult elephant, ‘Kamala’ and ‘Gauri’ also succumbed to the virus at the zoo.