More than 100 hippos dead due to suspected outbreak of anthrax in Namibia

More than 100 hippos dead due to suspected outbreak of anthrax in Namibia

A total of 109 hippos have died (Stock image)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

More than 100 hippos have died in Namibia due to a suspected anthrax outbreak, reports claim.

Namibia's Ministry of Environment and Tourism said the first dead hippo was discovered at the start of this month by officials in Bwabwata National Park, in the north-east of the country.

Now 109 more hippos have died in the area and the anthrax infection is thought to be the cause, according to RT.

Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta said vets are currently working at the park to officially verify the cause of the hippos' death. 

Samples of blood have been taken from animals for testing, but even if this confirms a spread of anthrax, acting ministry director Johnson Ndokosho says “there’s not much we can do” as the animals can't be moved.

Anthrax is caused by bacteria in soil, this is naturally occurring and often affects animals when water levels in the area drop.

If the deaths have been caused by anthrax this will be the first time an outbreak of this scale has hit Namibia, reports claim.

There are also many dead water buffaloes in the area and the amount of carcusses are causing vultures to circle the park. 

Before the deaths there were roughly 1,400 hippos in the country.