Rhino reports are in,test negative for anthrax infection

The anthrax scare reported from the Delhi zoo after the death of a rhinoceros abated on Thursday as test reports cleared doubts over anthrax infection as the cause of death.

Written by Nandini Thilak | New Delhi | Published: May 11, 2012 1:57:40 am

The anthrax scare reported from the Delhi zoo after the death of a rhinoceros abated on Thursday as test reports cleared doubts over anthrax infection as the cause of death.

The reports,submitted by the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) in Bareilly and a private lab in Delhi,were negative for anthrax infection,officials said.

The zoo,however,will continue with precautionary measures enforced after the young rhino’s death,till there’s a final confirmation.

“We had sent samples to three places. The third report is still awaited. The other two reports have come back negative,” R A Khan,curator of National Zoological Park,said on Thursday.

Confirming this,zoo director A K Agnihotri said the final report is to be submitted by the National Centre for Disease Control,formerly the National Institute of Communicable Diseases.

“These tests are complicated ones,and we want to be hundred per cent sure. Until a final confirmation is received,the precautions taken will remain in place,” he said.

The three-and-half-year-old male one-horned rhinoceros,named Junior Raja,died suddenly on April 28. Doctors who conducted the post-mortem examination recommended that the rhino’s blood and food samples be tested for anthrax on the suspicion that the infection may have led to the death.

Following the suggestion,samples were sent to IVRI,NCDC and a private lab in Delhi.

As the tests were in progress,officials had closed entry of visitors to the rhino enclosure. The zoo premises were sanitised by spraying a concentrated disinfectant solution. These arrangements will remain in place for now,officials said.

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