Chitwan, February 25
As many as 20 elephants in national parks and wildlife reserves across the country are said to be suffering from tuberculosis.
Doctor Kamal Gaire, a veterinarian at the Chitwan National Park, said of the total 220 elephants across the country, 20 are under medication for tuberculosis. The government started providing treatment to the tuskers after TB was first detected in elephants in 2005.
“Though there is no record on how many elephants have died of tuberculosis, as many as six elephants died after they were found suffering from the disease,” said Gaire.
According to him, the disease was detected in around 23 per cent of the total elephants across the country then. The elephants were put on medication as part of tuberculosis alleviation project, which was launched with financial assistance from Elephant Care International.
“As there is no vaccination for the disease, the disease is growing among tuskers,” said Gaire. The tuskers detected with the disease are given medicines for over a year.
Chief conservation officer at Chitwan National Park, Ram Chandra Kandel, said elephants contracting the disease were kept under close surveillance. The disease attacks weak and old elephants, he said.
A version of this article appears in print on February 26, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.