The Bwabwata National Park in Namibia is home to thousands of animals of different species. But over the week, more than a hundred of hippos have died. The suspected cause of death is anthrax.
Veterinary experts were scratching their heads to the unexplained death of the hippopotamuses in the national park. There’s an outbreak that spread throughout the area where the hippos are. There is no official cause as to their deaths yet. However, the preliminary symptoms showed that it could be because of anthrax. Experts are considering this angle as the level of the river is currently low.
Laboratory tests are still being done to determine the real cause of death. However, the death toll will go higher in the next few days. Before the outbreak, the hippo population was more than 1300. The supposed anthrax may even spread to crocodiles and vultures as they ate the carcasses.
Dangers Associated With Anthrax on Hippos
Anthrax is probably the deadliest disease that can strike the animal population. In 2016, about 2300 reindeer fell victim to the disease. The reason for anthrax outbreak was the intense heat wave.
This anthrax is a bacterial disease that spreads to animal herds through the bacterial spores found in soil, water, and plants. It usually targets the herbivores as they live in groups. Furthermore, the spores are not contagious but ingested.
Humans can contract anthrax when they come in contact with infected animals and eat the animals that died due to anthrax.
Indeed, the anthrax is deadly but can be avoided if the animals are annually vaccinated. However, not all animals mainly in African continent can afford such vaccine, and there are a lot of animals to take care of. Thus, anthrax depletes the animal population in Africa more than any other country or continent.