Ambikapur. Another elephant cub has died due to EE HV-1 virus at the Elephant Rescue Center on Tuesday. Doctors have expressed the possibility of the dead cub being ill for 20-25 days. Before this, two more cubs had died of the virus.
A group of 24 elephants are active in the Chendra circle under the forest range Kudargarh since the last fortnight. The elephant team was travelling the areas around the village panchayat for the past week. Last night a group of elephants was crossing the Karhiya Nala. During this, a four-year-old cub fell into the water on the bank of the river and died after some time. The elephant team kept trying to pick the cub for hours, but when the movement of the cub stopped, they went towards the forest. In the morning, on receiving information from the villagers, the forest workers reached the dead body of the cub and immediately informed the officials. A team of expert veterinarians Dr Mahendra Pandey, Dr Shambhunath Patel, and Dr PN Paikra, performed a Post Mortem of the dead cub on the spot. Doctors confirmed the death of the cub due to the EE SV-1 virus. According to the doctors, the mouth of the dead cub had turned blue, and large blisters had formed. His bowel was empty. The liver, intestine, spleen, kidney and other internal organs were infected with Maggot worms and roundworms. The cub was crippled with pain. Doctors expressed the possibility of the dead cub being affected by the infection from 20-25 days and stopping eating and drinking. After PM, doctors have saved the viscera of the cub for examination.
The former forest staff, with the help of the villagers, drove the elephants far and wide. The elephant team would have attacked during the Post Mortem if they were in the vicinity. After the elephants were driven away by the forest staff, the doctors performed the post mortem. During this, DFO BS Bhagat and others were present.
According to doctors, the EE HV-1 virus is a more dangerous disease than Covid. Wild animals infected with the virus have symptoms like Covid and die within a few days. Earlier, on September 23 and 24, two cubs of Kumki elephants died at the Rescue Center. After that, the elephants at the centre were isolated, and the surrounding areas were sanitized, including the rescue centre. Now the possibility of the wild elephants in the team being infected has become significantly high.