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  Special vaccination drive to control rabies in Delhi zoo

Special vaccination drive to control rabies in Delhi zoo

Published : May 22, 2016, 1:06 am IST
Updated : May 22, 2016, 1:06 am IST

A series of measures has been initiated at the National Zoological Park (NZP) in the city where 39 spotted deer are reported to died since February 11 this year.

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A series of measures has been initiated at the National Zoological Park (NZP) in the city where 39 spotted deer are reported to died since February 11 this year. The zoo authorities have pressed the panic button by suggesting that situation was out of control and the Central Zoo Authority has directed the authorities to utilise the services of the Zoological Information Management System to seek expert advice from zoos in other countries on the diagnosis and treatment of the animals.

While 17 spotted deer are said to have died due to rabies, others reportedly lost their lives due to pleurisy, enteritis, shock and infighting. The spread of rabies — the first case was detected on March 5 — not only poses a major threat to other animals but also to about 8,000 to 10,000 visitors who frequent the zoo daily.

A special vaccination drive has been started for animals and staff. “All the animals and staffs will be given the anti-rabies vaccine,” said a zoo official.

In a letter to the National Centre for Disease Control, zoo director Amitabh Agnihotri said the trunk sewers of the Delhi Jal Board passing through the NZP had overflowed on February 14 as a result of which sewage accumulated in the enclosure of the spotted deer. “The filth was removed, but some animals drinking the sewage water cannot be ruled out. Subsequently, three female spotted deer died. Post-mortem findings revealed severe enteritis. Samples of a dead spotted deer in the NZP were sent to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) to identify the cause of death. The IVRI reported that the animal died of rabies.” Mr Agnihotri said samples were also sent to the National Centre for Disease Control, adding, “The NCDC also confirmed the death of the spotted deer due to rabies.” NZP has a history of rabies as the zoo is inhabited by free-ranging carrier species of the disease.

Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi