Elephant Deaths In Odisha: Experts’ Help Sought To Contain Herpes Virus Outbreak

Bhubaneswar: The deaths of four elephants within a month inside Nandankanan Zoological Park in Bhubaneswar have now emerged as a major concern for animal lovers as well as the State government. As there is no proven method of treating Elephant Endotheliotrophic Herpes Virus, assistance from experts from Assam and Kerela is being sought to contain further outbreak, informed Forests and Environment Minister Bikram Arukh on Saturday.

Arukh further informed that out of the total eight elephants at Nandankanan zoo, four have died after they contracted the deadly herpes virus.

“Rest of the four elephants have been isolated and efforts are being made to prevent further outbreak,” said Arukh.

Earlier on Friday night, female elephant ‘Gauri’ succumbed to EEHV (Elephant Endotheliotrophic Herpes Virus) attack while undergoing intensive treatment at Nandankanan Zoological Park. Gauri was brought to Nandankanan Zoo from Athagarh Forest range in 2012.

“At present there are four elephants including three adult ones at Nandankanan. When elephant Gauri was ill, her trunk wash samples along with other elephants were sent for tests to Assam. But we have not got any confirmation that other elephants had also contracted the herpes virus,” said Jayant Das, deputy director of Nandankanan Zoo.