News and Information

Anthrax outbreak in Caprivi Region
September 17, 2004

TWO elephants have died of suspected anthrax in the Caprivi Region, the Director of Special Support Services in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism said yesterday.

Dr Pauline Lindeque said the report of the animal deaths followed confirmed reports of an anthrax outbreak in the Chobe National Park in Botswana, which borders the Caprivi.

Anthrax was also recently reported in Zimbabwe, were hundreds of animals are said to have succumbed to the disease.

Lindeque said some of her Ministry's officials at Etosha National Park had joined their colleagues in the Caprivi to probe the deaths of the two elephants.

The Director of Parks and Wildlife Management, Ben Beytell, told journalists in Windhoek yesterday there was no need to panic at this stage and that no reports of cattle infection had been received.

The Ministry has called on the public to report any unexplained animal deaths to the nearest State Veterinarian or to the nearest offices of the Ministry, as this will help the Ministry assess the situation and take necessary control measures.

Anthrax is generally of an acute form in wildlife, with animals showing few symptoms before abruptly collapsing and dying.

Blood discharge from the mouth, nostril and anus is characteristic of anthrax deaths.

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has appealed to Caprivi residents not to eat meat from animals which have died under mysterious circumstances.


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