Namibia: Hippos Killed By Possible Anthrax Outbreak

  • Namibia: Hippos Killed By Possible Anthrax Outbreak

Namibia: Hippos Killed By Possible Anthrax Outbreak

Images from the Bwabwata National Park in northeast Namibia showed what appeared to be several hippo corpses lying flat on their backs with their legs in the air.

Anthrax spores can "activate" when they enter a living organism, according to the CDC.

Over 100 hippos were found dead in the National Park within Namibia in an incident that has not been seen yet in the country. Furthermore, he warned that the number could rise if the crocodiles at the bodies of the hippos that died from the poison.

"Our veterinary services are now working at the area to determine the cause of death". "Our veterinary services are now working at the area to determine the cause of death ... but the signs so far show that it could be anthrax", Namibia's environment minister says, per the Guardian.

Scientists believe the death toll was particularly high because once hippos started dying, other hippos became cannibals ate the carcasses.

Human cases of anthrax are also common in Africa, which has the ideal climate for the disease; approximately 2,000 people are affected by anthrax each year in Africa alone. A similar outbreak in 2004 killed up to 200 hippos in Uganda.

He said all dead animal sightings should be reported to the nearest Department of Wildlife and National Parks office, police station or veterinary office.

In order to curb the spread of the disease, Namibian authorities are focused on preventing human exposure to the virus, both by limiting contact with the dead hippos and by advising locals not to eat them.