Vaccination of cattle near Madukkarai after wild elephant dies of anthrax

Vaccination of cattle near Madukkarai after wild elephant dies of anthrax

COIMBATORE, Dec26: A team of veterinary doctors from the animal husbandry department and forest department commenced vaccination of cattle at Nallurvayalpathi near Madukkarai in Coimbatore district on Sunday after a wild elephant died due to anthrax Friday.

The forest department requested the farmers to avoid using the locality and sensitized them and villagers not to graze their cattle in the area for few weeks. Meanwhile, another male elephant was found dead in Burgurforest range in Erode forest division on Saturday.

On Friday, a male elephant, aged between 20 and 25, was found dead near Kombuthooki Amman temple in the Karadimadai section under the Madukkarai reserve forest.

The forest department officials suspected that the elephant could have died due to fighting with another elephant.

Forest department veterinary doctor NS Manoharan conducted an autopsy at the spot on Saturday and revealed that the elephant died due to anthrax. The bacterium is called bacillus anthracis which is airborne and anthrax is a threat to cattle and villagers.

The forest department staff had dug a huge pit and buried the carcass of the elephant on Saturday.

The staff had burnt the shrubs and the vicinity to kill the bacterium. On Sunday, Madukkarai forest range forester and beat staff sanitized the place where the carcass was buried by sprinkling a stock of turmeric and bleaching powder.

The forest department had taken precautionary measures along with the animal husbandry department officials on Sunday.

“We have given vaccination to 50 cattle in Nallurvayalpathi hamlet where most of the villagers sent their cattle for graze where the elephant was found dead,” said veterinary doctor S Vennila from Pooluvapatti government veterinary hospital.

 She also added that the vaccination will be done for cattle in other villagers for a few more days also.
“Anthrax is an air-borne disease. So we sensitized the area to prevent from spreading to other areas. We have placed salt licks near water hotels where animals used to come for water.
We are treating the water holes with the chemicals also,” said a forest department officer.
The district forest officer S Ramasubmanian said that this is the first elephant death due to anthrax in Coimbatore. “We are conducting special vaccination camps for cattle with the help of animal husbandry department,” he added.