Hundreds of endangered Saiga antelopes die in Kazakhstan
By eye– June 1, 2011
Posted in: Epidemics, Mass death, Uncategorized, Wildlife
More than 440 endangered Saiga antelopes were found dead in western
Kazakhstan last week, suspected victims of the same epidemic that
killed 12,000 animals last year, officials said on Monday.
The horned animals, distinguished for the flexible snout-like noses,
originally inhabited a vast territory stretching from Mongolia to
Europe. But they are now listed as a critically endangered species by
the World Wildlife Fund, with an estimated population of 50,000. The
441 animals found dead last week included 364 does and 77 fawns.
“The fallen animals exhibited poisoning symptoms,” the Interfax news
agency quoted an emergencies ministry official as saying.
The animals appear to have died from an infectious disease called
pasteurellosis, the unnamed official said. The often-deadly infection
strikes the lungs and intestines, and needs to be treated with
Kazakh authorities were currently taking land and other samples to
help them determine what had caused the latest outbreak. (TerraDaily)
The saiga (Saiga tatarica) is a Critically Endangered antelope which
originally inhabited a vast area of the Eurasian steppe zone from the
foothills of the Carpathians and Caucasus into Dzungaria and Mongolia.
Pasteurellosis is an infection with a species of the bacteria genus
Pasteurella, which is found in humans and animals.
Pasteurella multocida (P. septica) is carried in mouth and respiratory
tract of several animals, notably cats. It is a small Gram negative
bacillus with bipolar staining by Wayson stain. In animals it can
originate fulminant septicaemia (chicken cholera), but is also a
Pasteurellosis in humans is associated with a close animal contact,
and may be transmitted by cat bite