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Dead hippos in the Letaba river

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Stark
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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby Stark » Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:35 pm

Sad yet interesting stuff. And good to know about the taps and water purification. Thank you Lesego.
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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:18 pm

:hmz: Crocs will probably eat the hippos.

Are crocs subject to anthrax as well?
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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby Elsa » Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:06 pm

I would hope the carcasses would be removed and burnt!
as not only crocs but lots of other animals could eat on them.
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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby BushFairy » Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:13 pm

I would understand how a lot of people would share this opinion. However...

Anthrax is a natural population control mechanism, so where do we draw the line? With the closing of man-made waterholes, etc. by SANParks with a focus on trying the make the park as natural as possibe, I would think that they would let the anthrax play out and let nature restore itself? Just my opinion :wink:
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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby Son godin » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:12 pm

Thanks for the information Lesego. Then it means laboratory tests are done to ensure the water quality remains high. Maybe it will be wise to add anthrax test to all the nasties they already analysed for and also to take a few samples from the river to see the level of spores in the water.


I suppose no-one can really predict how long such an outbreak will last and how quick it will be removed by good rain fall. :pray:

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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby avon vosloo » Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:15 pm

Trrp-trrrrrr asked if it's known how long it takes for the animals to die after infection - I quote from an article in Custos Magazine November 1973:-

Among the herbivores the disease is usually characterized by rapid and sudden death like that caused by a stroke. The onset is so sudden and the course so rapid that few if any clinical signs are usually observed before death. In one case a zebra was found dead with a mouthful of green grass on which it was feeding. In another instance, the carcass of an elephant cow was found with her calf pinned underneath her. She had evidently collapsed on top of the calf.


kallis1786 asked if predators that feed on the carcass, will get the disease as well - I quote from a follow-up article December 1973:-

By opening up carcasses, predators and carrion-eaters promote spore formation and, therefore, the survival of the anthrax bacilli. As disseminators ot the disease, certain scavengers such as vultures, hyenas and jackals (some of which appear to have a high resistance to the disease), as well as some predators such as lions and leopards, play an important role. Evidence points to the vulture as one of the chief disseminators of Bacillus anthracis organisms during anthrax epizootics in the Kruger National Park. It has been noticed that vultures visit watering-places immediately after gorging themselves on dead animals, in order to bathe or drink. Here they invariably begin by washing off the gore adhering to their feathers and also sometimes vomit excess ingesta into the water or along the edges, thereby forming an ideal spontaneous means of transition. We presume that it is this manner that a large number of natural waterholes, as well as drinking-troughs situated at windmills and artificial dams, have become infected during previous outbreaks of the disease.

It has also been found that ordinary houseflies and blow-flies, which feed on and develop in decaying animal matter, play a major role in the dissemination of anthrax. There is ample evidence that in the epidemics which occurred in the Kruger Park, such insects played an important role, especially the infections of browsing species such as kudu and nyala. When disturbed during their feeding on carcasses, myriads of flies were seen to alight on an and contaminate the leaves of trees and shrubs which were later browsed by the herbivores. On a number of occasions the causal organisms was actually isolated from flies and from their excreta and vomit droplets.


BB asked - Are crocs subject to anthrax as well?

To my knowledge crocs like hyenas have a high resistance to the disease :wink:

BushFairy mentions that the disease is a "natural population control mechanism"

Where do we draw the line indeed - a very high number of ellies and hippo in the park already - The choice between a worldwide uproar if you dare mention culling as an option, or let nature take its course :twisted:

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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby Trrp-trrrrrrrr » Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:34 pm

Avon vosloo,

Thank you for the informative information, greatly appreciated. :thumbs_up:
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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby BushFairy » Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:56 pm

Very interesting Avon Vosloo! :thumbs_up:

My point exactly! One has to choose though, surely? One cannot take away culling and then when nature steps in with disease as a means of population control not let it take it's course! Where's the sense it that. Nature is cruel, yes, but so are we (as mankind) if we don't consider the bigger picture (i.e. the devastation of habitats by the larger mammals which affects the smaller, more select grazers and browsers). I trust KNP scientists have it all under control as usual! Very difficult situation though.
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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby gmlsmit » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:01 pm

Anthrax is a killer and should never be allowed to spread.
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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby kallis1786 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:15 pm

Thank You Soo much Avon Vosloo :gflower: :thumbs_up:

Really interesting reading and information there.

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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby TheunsH » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:28 am

BushFairy wrote:One has to choose though, surely? One cannot take away culling and then when nature steps in with disease as a means of population control not let it take it's course! Where's the sense it that.

Good point! :thumbs_up:

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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby gmlsmit » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:02 am

The KNP is not an entirely untouched area therefore Management is required, sometimes less other-times more.
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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby Sparrow » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:32 am

An article in the newspaper yesterday also stated that this outbreak had also affected the Roan population.
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avon vosloo
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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby avon vosloo » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:54 pm

gmlsmit wrote "Anthrax is a killer and should never be allowed to spread."

Agreed :thumbs_up: and it can be done - from the same article:-

During a major outbreak or epidemic, control measures are primarily dependent on the proper and rapid disposal of carcasses by incineration.

As a preventative measure an "early warning system" was instituted. In 1971 a technician was appointed with the following duties: to organize the collection of blood smears and other samples from each animal carcass in the high risk anthrax area; to examine these specimens for the presence of anthrax bacilli; to traverse the areas regularly and asses the activity of vultures; and to treat water supplies during the high risk anthrax season. This step has already proved worthwhile for during 1971 infection in the roan habitat was picked up at a very early date and smothered timeously and effectively. In this way what would probably have been a major epixootic was warded off.


I wonder what happened to the "early warning system"?

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Re: Dead hippos in the Letaba river

Unread postby gmlsmit » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:09 pm

Please also see this:

viewtopic.php?f=67&t=65076
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
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