Last week the body a female elephant was found at Vallakkadavu range opposite to Nellikkampetti in the Thekkady range of the reserve. Forest officials who found the body and carried out a detailed examination said that the death has occurred due to unnatural conditions and suspect mainly due to anthrax.
The forest veterinary officials suspected symptoms of anthrax in the animal and samples have been sent for detailed test. Following the suspicions the body was not cut open and burnt as soon as possible without carrying out a post mortem examination, though a final confirmation of the disease will only be made after the results are out.
According to forest officials, the Anthrax virus generally lives for over 30 years. “Even if it is Anthrax, the virus must have been alive in the soil for such a long time. We don’t think there is the possibility of an epidemic outbreak in the wake of this incident,” an official said.
Wildlife experts and officials often fear such epidemic outbreaks which can wipe out an entire species. Fears of such instances occurring are often expressed in case of the Asiatic Lion which is found only in Gir Forest National Park in Gujarat. Experts fear that in case of an epidemic the entire species can be wiped out in one instant and are therefore are actively proposing for the lions to be transferred to other National Parks around the country as well. This will help to save the species in case of a problem in one area.