GADAG: A striped hyena, an endangered species, was found dead near a forest in Gajendragad on Tuesday. The discovery of the hyena’s carcass has raised many questions in the minds of wildlife enthusiasts, as the animal is believed to be having a strong immune system.
Wildlife activists and foresters have told villagers to be away from the forest areas and keep an eye on those who enter the hillocks or forest belts to kill hyenas or other animals. However, the increased presence of foresters in these areas in recent times has brought down the number of hunting cases and killings.
This is a rare incident in which a middle-aged hyena was found dead. Manjunath Nayak, a biodiversity expert, said, “When hyenas feed on carcasses infected with rabies or other fungal infection, there are chances of the rabies virus getting transmitted into its body.
Stray dogs are the main carriers of rabies virus. There could be a possibility of canine distemper, which is a contagious and viral disease that affects a wide range of mammal families, including domestic and wild species of dogs, jackals, foxes, wolves and felines (cats), as well as some primates”.
A staffer from Veterinary College in Gadag, Nikhil Kulkarni, who has been taking care of animals in the zoo, said, “The exact cause of the hyena’s death will be known after an autopsy is done. The details of the autopsy report will be shared by the Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF)”.
Meanwhile, Gadag DCF Dipika Bajpai said there is no need to panic as the hyena appears to have died a normal death. The presence of rabies virus is highly unlikely, she added.