Female Jumbo ‘Gauri’ Succumbs To Herpes; 4 Deaths In 25 Days Puts Officials In A Fix

Bhubaneswar: Taking the toll to 4, another female elephant ‘Gauri’ succumbed to EEHV (Elephant Endotheliotrophic Herpes Virus) attack while undergoing intensive treatment at Nandankanan Zoological Park Friday night.

Reportedly after contracting the virus, Gauri was kept in isolation as a precautionary measure while her health condition was being monitored on every 12-hour basis. She was also administered high dosage of medicines.

Though the Nandankanan Zoo officials informed that there has been a slight improvement in Gauri’s condition, she succumbed to the virus last night at around 9:51PM.

Gauri was brought to Nandankanan Zoo from Athagarh Forest Range in 2012.

According to experts, the elephants usually exhibit several symptoms such as reduced appetite, nasal discharge and swollen glands on both sides of the face after getting infected. The platelet counts of the elephants also drop considerably, which is fatal.

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. Sub-adult elephant, ‘Kamala’ succumbed to the disease at Nandankanan on Thursday.

The deaths of four elephants within a span of 25 days due to Herpes has now put the zoo authorities and Forest department in a fix as they now face an uphill task to contain its outbreak. According to the zoo officials, the remaining elephants are now under constant observation and anti-viral doses are also being administered to them.

Jayant Kumar Das, Deputy Director, Nandankanan Zoological Park, informed, “We are trying to contact the institutions that have successfully dealt with the Herpes virus. We are also in contact with American organisations and taking all measures for the safety of the elephants.”

It is not for the first time that a major disease outbreak has been reported at Nandankanan Zoo. Earlier, 12 tigers had died of Trypanosomiasis in 2012.