Anthrax scare: Efforts on to protect lions
Times of India
Bhavnagar: The forest department is working overtime under an action plan to ensure that lions and neelgais are out of reach from the threat of anthrax.
To prevent the lions from entering anthrax-prone areas around Bagdana village, forest officials on Thursday burnt garbage on the periphery of Gebar forest. Many forest officials teams are routinely patrolling the interiors of Sawarkundla, Mahuva, Palitana and Talala forest ranges, which are in close proximity to Bagdana.
The teams are also ensuring that neelgais, the main prey of lions in the forest, don't enter villages in these areas. Concerned about the safety of lions after the outbreak of anthrax in Bagdana village, forest department authorities in Gandhinagar issued orders to protect lions from getting infected. Officials felt the need to take precautionary steps when lions attacked some cattle a few days ago in the area, sources said.
"An action plan has been devised and forest teams are keeping a 24-hour watch in the jungles. These teams will ensure that lions or other wild animals don't enter Bagdana area. If any sign of the disease is found in any of the wild animals, immediate action will be taken," Pradeep Khanna, secretary, forest department, (wild-life), Gandhinagar, said.
Forest department sources said that at least 30 officials burnt plastics and tyres on Thursday on the border of Gebar forest range, three km from Bagdana. "Burnt matter prevents animals from crossing over and entering into another region. This will keep wild animals away from the anthrax-prone area of Bagdana," said a department official.
The post mortem report of a dead animal last Friday in Bagdana village confirmed that it had of died of anthrax infection. In all, eight animals have died due to anthrax within a week.
Officials from various departments and medical teams were rushed to the spot after the outbreak of anthrax and vaccinated cattle and administered doses of antibiotic to villagers. Currently, the situation is reported to be under control in the village.