One More Elephant Found Sick In Odisha, Herpes Infection Suspected

Cuttack: Herpes virus, which claimed lives of four elephants in Nandankanan Zoological Park within a span of a few days, is now suspected to have spread its tentacles beyond the confines of the zoo as a sick jumbo near Banra in Cuttack district was spotted this morning.

Some locals reportedly spotted the elephant and immediately informed the Forest department officials following which a team from Orissa University of Agriculture & Technology (OUAT) and specialist from Assam visited the spot to assess the health condition of the pachyderm. The team, from its preliminary examination, suspected herpes virus as the reason, however, said that it can be confirmed only after laboratory tests of the samples collected from the animal.

“Doctors suspected that the elephant is affected by herpes virus. There are no precautionary measures to avoid herpes. Besides, we don’t have facilities for immediate blood test of the animals falling prey to the virus. However, efforts are on to curb spread of the virus in Odisha,” informed Chief Wildlife Warden, Harishankar Upadhyay.

“From the symptoms, we suspect it to be affected by herpes. However, we will be able to ascertain the exact reason of the animal’s illness only after laboratory test of the collected samples,” said National Project Coordinator of elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus (EEHV), G Mahato.