A female wild elephant was found dead with symptoms of anthrax in Coimbatore forest area on Monday.
The frontline staff of the department, who were on a routine patrol, found the elephant lying dead near Anaikatti in the Coimbatore forest range. “The elephant was found dead with blood oozing out of its mouth and anus indicating the possibility of being infected by anthrax. The elephant could have got separated from its herd, which was spotted by the field staff near the Sembukkarai forest area a few days ago, after becoming sick,” said a staff of the Forest Department.
To confirm the cause of death, the blood samples lifted from the elephant have been sent to Animal Disease Intelligence Unit (ADIU) in Coimbatore for lab testing. Also, steps would be taken to carry out an autopsy by veterinarians from Anaikatti and Veerapandi based on the lab results.
A few years ago in 2016, a tusker succumbed to anthrax in the Madukarai forest range in Coimbatore. Following the death of the elephant due to suspected anthrax, the Forest Department has gone into alert mode to prevent the spread of the deadly disease among other wild animals.
Anthrax is a lethal bacterial disease that affects both humans and animals. “Preventive measures will be taken if the test reports confirm the cause of the death to be anthrax,” said an official. The carcass of the animal is likely to be burnt by the Forest Department