Several boars found dead in MTR, African swine flu suspected

At least five wild boars were found dead due to suspected African Swine Flu (ASF) in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) on Tuesday.

With this, the death toll of wild boars in MTR has risen to around 21 just in the last one week, following its contagious spread in Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka.

“A post-mortem revealed symptoms of ASF. However, samples have been sent to Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) and to Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) to ascertain their cause of death,” said an official, preferring anonymity. Most of the carcasses were found along forest fringes and in tourist spots of Theppakadu.

“As it is nearly impossible to either treat or take preventive steps to stop this highly contagious fever, a team has been formed to search wild boar carcasses in Theppakadu area and destroy them by burning. This will prevent the spread of fever among other wild boars,” added the official.

Apart from forest fringes, the Forest Department has also deployed anti-poaching watchers (APW) to look for wild boar carcasses in interior forest areas. Meanwhile, the Forest Department has communicated to the Animal Husbandry Department officials to carry out inspections in piggery farms in the hill district.

At least 21 wild boars have reportedly died in the MTR area within a week and the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) and Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) will conduct a study.

The carcasses were burnt to prevent the further spread of the fever among the wild boars in the area.

A senior official with the MTR while speaking to IANS said, “Tracking the wild boars and preventing fever to these wild boars is nearly impossible, but we have directed the field staff to trace the carcasses of the dead boars and to burn and destroy them. That’s the only thing we can do for now.”

“The Theppakadu elephant camp has been cordoned off to prevent the entry of wild boars,” he said.

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