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Mysterious ‘infection’ kills 2 more zebras in Bangladesh’s safari park

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Jan 31, 2022 - 02:21 AM

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – A mysterious “bacterial infection” killed two more zebras in Asia’s biggest safari park in Bangladesh, taking the death toll to 11 in four weeks, said an official on Sunday.

Two more zebras at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park in the central district of Gazipur got sick on Saturday morning and died in the night after contracting an infection that previously killed nine zebras, according to the official.

“Medical teams primarily confirmed bacterial infection to be the cause of deaths. However, they also found signs of kidney and heart failure and a puffy stomach among the dead zebras,” Md Jahidul Kabir, project director of the safari park, told Anadolu Agency.

“A total of 11 zebras have died between Jan. 2 and Jan. 29. We have put the rest of the animals in the park under close observation,” he added.

“Medical teams formed to investigate the deaths confirmed the presence of four bacteria in the samples of the dead animals,” the official said, adding: “We had already sent samples to top animal hospitals and research centers in the country, including to Central Veterinary Hospital in Dhaka, to determine the cause of death.”

Meanwhile, a committee formed by the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry to probe the deaths visited the safari park, according to a statement by the ministry on Sunday.

The ministry officials also talked to the authorities of the South African animal farm, from where the zebras were brought to the Bangladeshi safari park, and forwarded medical test reports to them, it added.

Inaugurated in 2013, the park is spread over 3,810 acres (1,542 hectares) of Sal forest in the central city of Gazipur and is the largest safari park in Asia and one of the largest in the world.

“Analyzing the preliminary results, experts cite injuries, bacterial infections, genetic factors, and in one case influenza as the cause of death. The symptoms were common among them,” the ministry said in an earlier report.

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