Alipurduar, Feb. 13: An elephant is suspected to have died from anthrax in Jaldapara sanctuary, prompting foresters to vaccinate around 50 kunkis and launch a search in nearby villages to find out if domesticated cattle, too, are afflicted.
The body of nine-year-old makna (male elephant without tusk) was found on a riverbed in Siltorsha I compartment under the Jaldapara West Range yesterday.
The divisional forest officer of wildlife III, Rajendra Jakhar, said samples of the carcass had been sent to laboratories in Calcutta and Hyderabad to confirm if the animal had died from anthrax.
“Blood was oozing from the dead elephant’s nose and ears, suggesting that it had anthrax. Besides, two kunkis that had gone to haul the carcass away from the riverbed didn’t go near the body. Elephants are sensitive to diseases and avoid contact with infected animals,” said a forest officer.
Jakhar said Jaldapara sanctuary had about 50 kunkis and they all had been given vaccination against anthrax.
“We have also started a search in forest villages to see if domesticated cattle also show the symptoms of the bacteria-borne disease. If needed, they will also be vaccinated.”