30 hippos killed by Anthrax in Kruger National Park10/11/2012 23:39:01 Anthrax outbreak affects hippos in the Kruger National Park
November 2012: The South African National Parks (SANParks) have revealed that the anthrax outbreak that started in late August in the north of the Kruger National Park (KNP) has claimed the lives of 30 hippopotamus in the Letaba and Olifants River. Post mortems results from some of the carcases, suggest they were infected by the bacteria.
Reynold Thakhuli, spokesman for SANParks said a total of 30 hippo carcases have been found up to now and Park Rangers are closely monitoring the situation. "Members of the public are urged to report any sightings to the nearest camp and not to touch the carcases. The State Veterinarians are busy examining six carcases that were found over the weekend and will issue the results as soon as they're available."
Spread by vultures
According to Thakhuli anthrax outbreaks are a natural occurrence in the northern Kruger National Park and occur more or less every 10 years, apparently related to the end of dry cycles. It usually occurs during the dry months of the year. Since 1960, eight major anthrax outbreaks have occurred in the KNP (1960, 1970, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1999, 2010 and 2012).
During the previous outbreak of 2010 in the Nxanatseni region it is estimated that approximately 2000 animals died.
"The Kruger National Park rangers are currently monitoring the situation on a daily basis to determine if they are more carcasses in the rivers," concludes Thakhuli.