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Report allays anthrax fears

Jamshedpur, Oct. 30: The four sambars, who died at Dalma wildlife sanctuary deer park last week, did not die due to a lethal anthrax infection, the blood test report of the Veternary College in Kanke (near Ranchi) revealed on Wednesday.

The report, which was handed over to Ranchi wildlife division, said the sambars died due to a viral infection.

Dalma range officer Mangal Kacchap heaved a sigh of relief. “We were very concerned about the health of other sambars, spotted deer and cattle. The blood report is a huge relief for us. The sambars have not died due to anthrax infection,” he said.

While three sambars breathed their last in the small hours of October 23, one died on October 25. Sensing danger, a team of vets from Chandil and Seraikela, along with sanctuary officials, sent samples of blood taken from the carcasses to the Veterinary College to confirm anthrax.

Now, there are 11 sambars and 35 spotted deer at the 10-hectare park in Makulakocha village, part of the sanctuary, a tourist attraction some 25km off Jamshedpur.

Kacchap said the animals at the deer park were in good health and they were on their regular diet. “We have sprinkled potassium permanganate and caretakers have to walk on it before entering the park. Lime and neem in powder form have also been sprinkled to prevent infections. Animals have been given antibiotic injections. Local youths have been roped in to keep a constant vigil on the deer and sambars,” the range officer added.

Besides, Kacchap had written to the animal husbandry officers of East Singhbhum and Seraikela-Kharsawan to conduct vaccination drives in villages to protect cattle. But, it is yet to start. “I will request them once again. Precautionary measures have to be adopted otherwise the cattle could vanish,” he feared.