Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Baripada/Udala, Apr 6:
With more than 100 domestic animals suspected to have died of anthrax in the villages surrounding the famed Similipal Sanctuary of Odisha within a week, the threat of the dreaded disease spreading to wildlife inside the tiger reserve looms large.
“Cattle, goats, pigs all are dying. Since a month they are dying,” said Laxman Marandi, resident of Balma village.
More than 100 pigs, 20 cows and more than 50 goats have died within a week in the villages surrounding the sanctuary. Diseased domestic animals are being treatediIn almost all villages in the periphery of the sanctuary.
“Pigs stop taking food, defecate blood in their stools and are dead within no time. Most of the animals go to forested areas for grazing,” said Rabindra Mahanta, a villager.
“We have started vaccination of domestic animals in almost all villages around the park as a precautionary measure against the spread of anthrax. It’s being done on a regular basis,” said Dr Piyush Ranjan Soren, Veterinarian, Simlipal.
In December last year, an elephant had died of anthrax in Dukura range.
“Cattle belonging to these villagers stay within the sanctuary for months together and turn out to be carriers of the disease and pose a threat to wildlife inside the sanctuary,” said Bhanumitra Acharya, honorary wildlife conservator.