Medical

More Than 100 Hippos Died Because of Anthrax Outbreak

More Than 100 Hippos Died Because of Anthrax Outbreak

More than 100 hippopotamuses have died in a possible anthrax outbreak in Namibia, authorities at a national park have announced.

Agence France-Presse reports that some veterinary experts in the southwestern African country believe the sudden deaths may have been caused by anthrax.

"We first noticed the deaths of 10 hippos last week Sunday, but the number increased during the week", Bwabwata National Park director Apollinaris Kannyinga told the Namibian. "Our veterinary services are now working at the area to determine the cause of death ... but the signs so far show that it could be anthrax", Namibia's environment minister says, per the Guardian.

Anthrax, a potentially deadly bacterial disease, is known for killing big game, cattle, and sometimes even humans. He cautioned that the correct loss of life could be higher because of the likelihood that crocodiles may have eaten a portion of the remains.




Namibia's environment ministry said the first dead hippo was spotted on 1 October but dozens of deaths quickly followed.

"As we speak, the number of deaths is 109". Many water buffaloes have also been discovered dead in the same spot but it is yet to be confirmed if they were also killed by the same outbreak.

The minister added that he would be alarmed if there were any further hippo deaths at the national park, which is one of the country's foremost tourist attractions. More than 2,300 reindeer and a 12-year-old child were killed by anthrax during a heatwave in Siberia in August 2016, while anthrax claimed an estimated 300 hippos in Uganda in 2004. However, officials said it's a scene they've seen before.

He also said they are now monitoring the situation, and that the dead hippos are yet to be disposed of.


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