Anthrax is a type of infection caused by the spores of the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. It is a common disease of livestock and, occasionally, of humans. It can occur in four forms: skin, inhalation, intestinal, and injection--all comes with different symptoms. Anthrax is most common in Africa, and Central and Southern Asia.
Now, this life-threatening disease has also claimed the lives of more than a hundred hippos in Namibia! As you can see in the photo, dozens of lifeless hippos limb in the air and lie flat on their backs. This happened at the the Bwabwata National Park. Before the outbreak, there are around 1,300 hippos in the southern African country; but due to this, around 10 percent of the population were killed!
According to the deputy director of parks in the country's northeast region, Apollinaris Kannyinga, there are around 10 hippos found dead from October 7-8, 2017. Kanniyinga added that the latest outbreak was caused by the low waters of the Kavango river. However, that number has been increasing exponentially after that.
“The other mortalities are dispersed over the river, and the crocodiles and vultures are feeding on them,” Kannyinga told The Namibian newspaper. “We will just sensitise the community not to try and get the meat of these dead hippos for consumption," he said.
And just recently, Kannyinga said that there has already been 109 recorded dead hippos. He assured, thought, that anthrax outbreaks are common there and that the hippo population “usually recovers”. However, according to Namibia’s environment minister Pohamba Shifeta, that number could be higher due to some hippo corpses missing as they’re eaten by crocodiles.
“Our veterinary services are currently working at the area to determine the cause of death. Once we have the results of the cause of death than we can decide on the way forward,” Shifeta told the Agence France Presse (AFP) news.
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