Bhawanipatna: One more elephant calf was found dead near a nullha at Ghusurigudi in Karlapata wildlife sanctuary taking the toll to seven within a gap of 20 days. The death was due to suspected haemorrhagic septicaemia, sources said.
Earlier, six elephants-all pregnant- died of the bacteria infection. Carcasses of five pachyderms were recovered from Ghusurigudi while one from Tentulipadar in the sanctuary.
A central team from Delhi, which visited the places on Saturday, had confirmed septicaemia as the reason of elephants’ death. Following back to back death of the jumbos, district administration and forest department stepped up measures to check further deaths.
Precautionary measures like vaccination to domestic animals, disinfection of water bodies and awareness programme have been put in place to prevent further infection.
"These activities will be continued for a month," said Gavali Parag Harshad, Kalahandi Collector.
Elephant Cell national coordinator Prajna P Panda, who was a part of the Central team that visited the sites on Saturday, said that high stress level in the body of the pregnant elephant has led to the spread of septicaemia.
“As they were pregnant, stress level in their body was high which was very sensitive to infection," Panda said.
Centre for Wildlife (ICAR-IVRI Bareilly) scientist Karikalan Mathesh, head of department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at OUAT Prof Niranjan Sahoo were other members of the expert team.
The team collected samples from five sites and sent them to Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) for testing.