FMD claims lives of nilgai at Mysore Zoo

Cause of death of another nilgai yet to be ascertained

An adult nilgai has succumbed to Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) at Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens in Mysore. Though, another nilgai was also found dead at the zoo during the past fortnight, the cause of its death is yet to be ascertained.

Zoo authorities said that FMD is under control at Mysore zoo, with vaccinations and antibiotics being administered to species of animals susceptible to the disease from the past two months.

Following one confirmed FMD death, the herd of nilgai at the zoo have now been isolated from visitors and other animals. Nilgais are being regulary sprayed with an anti-viral drug, Virkon S, said Dr Suresh Kumar, veterinarian of the Zoo.

“The nilgai which died was 18 years of age and was an old animal. Mortality with FMD is high if the disease affects old animals or young animals about two to three months of age,” he said. Moreover, nilgais are more susceptible to the disease than cows, he added.

The death of nilgai is the first death of an animal due to FMD at the zoo.

Regarding the death of another nilgai, he said that samples of the animal has been sent to Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals in Bangalore to ascertain the cause of death of the animal.


The death of nilgais, according to sources at the zoo, occurred during the past fortnight.


Transmission

Despite quick action being taken at the Zoo as soon as the news of FMD outbreak spread, the large inflow of tourists during Dasara might have infected the animals, Suresh said.

“FMD gets transmitted through the air. Visitors of the zoo might have carried the disease, or the virus from infected animals outside the zoo might have carried to nilgais through air.

Preventive action taken earlier has prevented many other species of animals prone to FMD from being infected,” he said.

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