Anthrax in Odisha reserve forest: officials collect samples

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Baleswar/Nilagiri, Dec 5:

With anthrax scare spreading fast in the region, the administration has woken up to take curative measures to tame the spread of the infectious disease caused by bacteria at the Kuldiha Reserve Forest in Odisha’s Baleswar district.

anthrax sample collection

A special team from Animal Diseases Research Institute (ADRI) at Phul Nakhara near Cuttack visited the Reserve Forest yesterday and collected blood-soaked soil where the elephant died and water samples for testing.

In view of possible antrax outbreak, the officials have advised the villagers not to let their domesticated animals outdoors for grazing and stressed on creating awareness among the residents.

The officials, with the help of megaphone, urged the local community to take preventive measures to save their lifestock. Besides, they are planning for an immunisation drive, sources said.

At least 25 elephants are afflicted with anthrax in the Forest Reserve, sources added.

It may be recalled that a female elephant, aged about 35, was found dead in Bhalubasa area of the Reserve Forest near Nilagiri on November 27.

The local villagers had alleged that the forest officials had burnt the body of the pachyderm to hush up the matter that the jumbo was infected with anthrax.

A forest official of the division had confirmed that the viscera test confirmed the presence of bacillus anthracis, the anthrax organism in the female elephant.

The expert team which visited the Reserve Forest comprised of Deputy Director of ADRI Amlan Kumar Mishra, I&PR official Debendra Patra, Dr Tapan Kumar Dwivedi and Ranger Laxman Pradhan.

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