In the month of January-February 2021 after COVID-19, around six elephants died at the Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary in Kalahandi, Odisha. Following that, a central team was set up by Union Environment Ministry. The central team in its preliminary report highlighted that, the elephants died because of haemorrhagic septicaemia which is caused by bacteria Pastuerella multoceda.

  • Central team’s report further highlights that, the elephants might have contracted the bacteria from cattle residing at Tentulipada village.
  • Tentulipada village is a small hamlet of 12 households in Odisha.
  • The Central team had conducted the post-mortems and RNA extraction tests at the Orissa Veterinary College to come to the conclusion however, samples have been sent to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh for final confirmation.
  • The elephants are supposed to be died in between January 29 to 14th February 2021. Their carcasses found near water bodies. A total of 7 elephants comprising of 5 adults and 2 calves died and all of them were females.
  • The Preliminary tests confirm that, all of them had very high levels of Pastuerella multoceda.

About Pasteurella multocida

The Pasteurella multocida is a Gram-negative, nonmotile, penicillin-sensitive coccobacillus that belongs to the family Pasteurellaceae. Strains of this species are classified into 5 serogroups namely A, B, D, E, F. they have subdivided into fiver groups on the basis of capsular composition and 16 somatic serovars. This germ causes several diseases in the mammals and birds. Some of the diseases include fowl cholera in poultry, bovine hemorrhagic septicemia in cattle & buffalo and atrophic rhinitis in pigs. It also causes a zoonotic infection in humans because of bites or scratches from domestic pets. Mammals such as domestic cats & dogs and birds harbour it under their normal respiratory microbiota.

About Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary

The Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Kalahandi district which is a popular tourist attraction of Odisha. It is located at this distance of 15 kilometer from Bhawani Patna (district headquarters). It covers an area of 175 square km. It lies in the Eastern Highlands moist deciduous forests. The sanctuary is home to leopard, tiger, nilgai, sambar, mouse deer, barking deer etc.

Central Team setup on Odisha Elephant Deaths Central Team setup on Odisha Elephant Deaths