Gaborone – Traits of anthrax have been detected in Botswana with hundreds of dead hippos floating in the Okavango River believed to be victims of the disease.
Namibia, neighbour to Botswana is also facing the same problem as more than 100 hippos were reported dead in the remote Bwabwata National Park, with anthrax the suspected cause.
It is believed the infection was transmitted through the Okavango River that flows through Namibia before entering Botswana.
Botswana’s Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism on Wednesday advised people to desist from touching dead hippos or playing around the rivers.
“We can confirm that Anthrax has been detected in the Okavango Delta area. We encourage people to stay safe and never touch dead hippos or touch water flowing along the Okavango river,” the ministry said.
The ministry also encouraged people to report any sightings of hippo carcasses so that they can be destroyed before the infection affects other animals as well.
The ministry said it was doing everything in their power to prevent the infection from spreading throughout the country.
The Okavango Delta is one of the largest and prestigious tourists’ attraction destinations in Southern Africa, boasting an abundance of wildlife and birdlife.
Concerns have been raised over the safety of tourists who regularly visit the area on a daily basis.
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