A failure to conduct a thorough probe of different strains of Herpes virus in elephants may rob Kerala’s forests of all baby elephants, warns a state forest department veterinarian.

The herpes virus that killed 26 elephants over the past 10 years, mostly young ones, both in the wild and captive, had different strains depending on the region they were in like Munnar, Wayanad and Nilambur, the Times of India reports.

185

In a paper titled `Impact of diseases in wildlife conservation’ at the sixth international conference on NextGen Genomics, Biology , Bioinformatics and Technologies (NGBT) in Kochi, veterinarian Arun Zachariah said that this information came when a full DNA sequencing of the virus found in the elephants was done and analysed. “We are now doing a detailed analysis of the genetic profile of the virus,” he added.

He said the animals died within 48 hours of contracting the virus. “We spent several days monitoring the animals in the wild and realized that the virus was oozing out in the trunk leaks of adult elephants which infected the young ones in the herd. We are trying to understand the relation between the three parameters, pathogen (virus), host (elephants) and environment (climate), and what is the causative trigger,” he said.


Wildlife SOS, an NGO, has given a new home to an elephant that was found starving and rescued from its owners who made the noble animal seek alms on the streets of Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh.

The elephant named `Mohan,’ who was rescued by authorities in July, has been brought to Wildlife SOS’ facility in Mathura, where he’s expected  to live out the rest of his years.


~ Tuesday Snippets ~

No Room in Buxa, Tigers Move Out
Tigers from Buxa reserve have moved close to the Bhutan border edged out by growing human settlements. Camera traps in Buxa have failed to produce any evidence of tiger presence in the reserve. Read more from the original source here.

New Butterfly Species Discovered in Arunachal Pradesh
Banded Tit, a new butterfly species that lives for nearly 2 weeks, has been found in the forests of Arunachal Pradesh’s Changlang district. It’s believed to spend a large part of the year in a dormant state. Read more from the original source here.

Border Security Forces Can’t Wish Away the `Elephant in the Room’
Elephants have made it a habit of walking through the living room, or in this case completely destroying the makeshift living quarters, of Indian border security force personnel in Garo hills in Meghalaya bordering Bangladesh. Officials aren’t sure if this treatment is only reserved for Indian forces. Read more from the original source here.