Kerala elephant camp under Herpes virus threat

January 5th, 2008 - 10:40 pm ICT by admin  

By Juhan Samuel
Kodanad (Kerala), Jan 5 (ANI): An elephant camp located here in the Malayatoor Forest Division is under Herpes virus threat, which has already taken lives of two young baby calves.
The camp, which was once a hot tourist destination in the Kerala map for being a unique elephant orphanage, is facing tough time with the outbreak of the viral disease.
Forest officials have started transferring elephants to nearby areas to avoid worsening of the situation, and have sprinkled bleaching powder and phenol to control the infection.
“It is a very shocking thing that has happened in our centre, and not only me all the other mahouts here are worried and disappointed due to the death of babies,” lamented K Vargheese, who is a mahout here.
Niranjan, a two-year-old male calf was the first victim of this deadly virus, who showed symptoms of Hemorrhagic Septicaemia or Herpes that affects the circulatory functions, blood vessels and finally leads to the malfunction of vital organs.
On December 26, the calf succumbed within hours of its symptoms was reported.
Two days later, another one and half-year-old female baby elephant Aswathy, who was kept near the dead calf, also showed same symptoms of facial oedema and died.
The blood samples of the elephants have been sent to Chennai Veterinary College for further examination and the results are awaited, said Dr. E.K. Easwaran, Forest Veterinary officer, Kerala forest and Wild life department.
Kodanad, set on the southern banks of the Periyar River amid the beautiful high ranges near Kochi in Kerala, is one of the largest elephant training centres of Kerala. (ANI)

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