BALASORE: Anthrax scare has gripped people residing in Similipal biosphere following the death of eight cattle and over 100 pigs in the last one week.
Carcasses of the livestock were first spotted in Balama village on Sunday last. Subsequently, more carcasses were spotted in nearby villages, leaving the villagers panicked.
The biosphere authorities have asked forest officials to intensify patrolling within the sanctuary limits and also keep an eye on wild animals. Villagers have been asked not to enter the forest.
Divisional Forest Officer Sanjay Swain said a team of veterinary doctors and forest officials from Udala forest range visited the village on Saturday and collected blood and viscera samples from the carcass of a calf. “We initially suspected that the livestock died of pneumonia, but a blood and viscera report will only confirm if the deaths were due to anthrax or pneumonia,” he said.
In December last year, an elephant had died of anthrax in Subarnamanjari forest under Dukura range. The viscera test conducted by Animal Diseases Research Institute (ADRI) at Cuttack had confirmed the presence of anthrax organism - Bacillus Anthracis - in the jumbo. Following this incident, the livestock in and around the forest range were vaccinated three months back. Once vaccinated, the animals cannot be given another dose for six months.