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Dead hippos in the Letaba river

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Graham Dyer
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Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby Graham Dyer » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:26 pm

Noticed at least 6 dead hippos in the Letaba river today, 3 floating against the Mingerhout dam wall and another 3 between the dam and Letaba camp.

Most are belly up in section of water but the smell is of course what one notices first. The camp reception staff have no knowledge of this but have promised to tell the ranger.

Does anyone know if there is a cause for this?
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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby Heksie » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:43 pm

That sounds very bad!
What could the reason be for so many hippos to die?
Hope we find an answer soon :pray:
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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby Son godin » Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:07 pm

Saw a post on Facebook about the dead hippo's but no comment on the reason.

http://www.facebook.com/groups/kruger.s ... =1&theater

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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby Lesego » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:15 am

Morning All;

I have sent an email to Kruger to find out exactly what could have been the cause of this. I will post here once I get the full story. :thumbs_up:
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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby Nkulu » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:23 am

Thanks Lesego
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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby Philip1 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:39 am

Lesego :thumbs_up:

:( Hope it is not what happened to those Crocs awhile ago :(
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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby kallis1786 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:44 pm

Thanks Lasego :thumbs_up:

Philip1 wrote:Lesego :thumbs_up:

:( Hope it is not what happened to those Crocs awhile ago :(


I agree, the crocs was a nightmare and it is close to the hippo deaths, although 2 different rivers. :pray: That it is just a coincidence and nothing serious.

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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby Lesego » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:11 pm

Anthrax outbreak affects hippos in the Kruger National Park

The South African National Parks (SANParks) said in a statement today that the anthrax outbreak that started in late August in the north of the Kruger National Park (KNP) has claimed the lives of 30 hippopotamus in the Letaba and Olifants River in the past two weeks. Post mortems results from some of the carcases, suggest they were infected by the bacteria.

Reynold Thakhuli, spokesman for SANParks said a total of 30 hippo carcases have been found up to now and Park Rangers are closely monitoring the situation. “Members of the public are urged to report any sightings to the nearest camp and not to touch the carcases. The State Veterinarians are busy examining six carcases that were found over the weekend and will issue the results as soon as they’re available.”

Anthrax is a highly infectious disease of animals caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. “It is thought that the disease is spread mainly through vultures and blowflies. Vultures are immune against anthrax and they spread the disease by consuming contaminated meat from affected carcasses and then defecating in water bodies where they regularly drink or bath. The toxins released by the bacteria when it sporulates are also fatal to some species.”

According to Thakhuli anthrax outbreaks are a natural occurrence in the northern Kruger National Park and occur more or less every 10 years, apparently related to the end of dry cycles. It usually occurs during the dry months of the year. Since 1960, eight major anthrax outbreaks have occurred in the KNP (1960, 1970, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1999, 2010 and 2012).

It is also closely linked to population density – when certain species like kudu and hippo reach high densities then anthrax spreads more rapidly. The disease is also the only disease in KNP that needs to kill its host in order to propagate itself. In all the outbreaks before the disease naturally dissipates when the rains start and when animal densities decrease, so it can be considered a “natural regulator” of animal densities. The current outbreak has seen relatively low numbers of cases in relation to population sizes of species affected.

During the previous outbreak of 2010 in the Nxanatseni region it is estimated that approximately 2000 animals died.

“The Kruger National Park rangers are currently monitoring the situation on a daily basis to determine if they are more carcasses in the rivers,” concludes Thakhuli.

Issued by:
SANParks

Enquiries:
Ike Phaahla;
Media Specialist
SANParks
Tel: 012 426 5315 , cell: 0836736974
email: isaac.phaahla@sanparks.org
or
William Mabasa,
HOD: Public Relations and Communication,
Kruger National Park
Tel: 013 735 4363, cell: 082 807 3919
email: william.mabasa@sanparks.org
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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby bert » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:16 pm

Very sad to read but thank you for the lenghty answer :thumbs_up:

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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby kallis1786 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:29 pm

Thanks for the info Lasego :thumbs_up: :gflower:

Hopefully there will not be a huge death rate, just a question if someone can answer, If Predators feed on the carcass, will they get the diesiese as well

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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby Trrp-trrrrrrrr » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:38 pm

Lesego wrote:Anthrax is a highly infectious disease of animals caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. bodies where they regularly drink or bath. The toxins released by the bacteria when it sporulates are also fatal to some species.”

Very sad to hear :(

Once the animals have been infected, is it known how long it takes for the animals to die?
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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby Son godin » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:50 pm

What is the implication of anthrax in the Olifants and Letaba rivers to visitors to the park? If the spores are present in water will it be safe to use water in the park, e.g. at camps like Balule. I am not sure what process the water goes through before use at camps and if the water is filtered and purified before use in showers and tap water. Therefore I would like to get more information on the source of water to camps along these two rivers and if it is best for visitors rather to bring their own drinking water and wash water.

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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby Scipio » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:13 pm

:hmz:

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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby Lesego » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:44 pm

The tap water in the Kruger National Park is safe for visitors’ consumption, provided that the visitors do not drink direct from the rivers. Although Olifants and Letaba rivers are the main sources of supply, camps like Balule, Letaba and Olifants have their own purification systems to ensure that only clean water is supplied. At Olifants they even went as far as painting some of the external taps green as an indication that the water is safe for consumption.
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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby bert » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:51 pm

Txs Les


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