After six elephants died injust 14 days at Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary in OdishasKalahandi district, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Mondayasked the authorities to take immediate measures to stop thefatalities.
One more female elephant was found dead near awaterbody in the Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary, a forestofficial said.
Earlier, four female pachyderms and a calf have diedthere since February 1.
According to the 2018 census the sanctuary had 17elephants.
Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Kalahandi SouthDivision Ashok Kumar and his team and veterinary doctors arecamping in the area undertaking surveillance.
“The death of elephants is due to HaemorrhageSepticemia (HS),” the DFO said.
However, the DFO said that there was no report of thedeath of other animals in the sanctuary and the cattleentering the forest from nearby villages.
Expressing concern over the series of pachydermdeaths, the chief minister directed the departments of Forestand Environment and Animal Resources to consult experts of theOdisha and outside in order to stop further death of jumbos.
During a review meeting held through video conference,Patnaik also directed the district administration of Kalahandiand the DFO to ensure vaccination of cattle in villages closeto the sanctuary.
He said that all the water bodies in the sanctuaryshould be disinfected and water samples should be sent to labsfor tests.
Official sources said that there are at least 43 waterbodies in the sanctuary of which 25 have been disinfected sofar.
Coordinator from Centre for Wildlife Health, OUAT(Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology),Bhubaneswar, Niranjan Sahu after visiting Karlapat sanctuarysaid: “The death of elephants is believed to be by HS. Thepostmortem report and laboratory report of one dead elephantis hinting at HS.” Cattle get infected by HS if not vaccinated, Sahusaid, adding that this is perhaps the first incident whereelephants are also infected with HS.
He said vaccination of domesticated cattle in thevillages located inside the sanctuary and sanitization is inprogress by veterinary staff supported by forest staff.
Chief District Veterinary Officer (CDVO) Dr ChaitanyaSethi said that as of now there is no reported death ofdomesticated cattle in the area due to HS.
Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over 175 squarekilometre area and is famous for lush green dry deciduousforest, varieties of flora and fauna and animals like,elephant, leopard, Gaur, Sambar, barking deer, Indian wolf,wild dog, wild pig, sloth bear, Malbar giant squirrel andPangolin.
This apart a variety of birds like peafowl, peacock,hornbill, Red jungle fowl, partridges, Spurfawl, Hill Myna,Brahminy kite and reptilian fauna includes Mugger, crocodile,monitor lizard, snakes both poisonous and non-poisonous arefound in the sanctuary.
The forest consists of flora like Sal, Bija, Asan,Harida, Amala, Bahada and Bamboo and varieties of medicinalplants.
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