Nine zebras at Gazipur Safari Park die of infectious disease

The animals died within 20 to 25 minutes after a sudden increase in body temperature and breathing difficulties, say officials

Powered by Froala Editor

Nine zebras have died of an infectious disease at Gazipur’s Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park in the past three weeks. 

Four of them had fought among themselves before they died, said former Chief Veterinary Officer and specialist Dr ABM Shahidullah in a media call on Tuesday. 

Authorities say the zebras died within 20 to 25 minutes after experiencing a sudden rise in their body temperature and breathing difficulties.

At the moment, eight pregnant zebras are under close observation, said Shahidullah.  

A total of 10 points have been recommended for the safe housing of the zebras. 

Those include the following: the zebras need to be kept separate for the time being, the supply of grass from the current supplier be stopped, antibiotic powder be provided with food of the unvaccinated ones in order to protect against bacteria, etc. 

The male zebras fight over breeding, which is not uncommon in zoos or safari parks, Shahidullah said regarding the fight. 

Among the dead zebras are seven females and two males. 

According to the authorities, about one-third of the zebras have died in such a short time.

The laboratories had identified some bacteria, coronary issues and the presence of pesticides in the food, said Assistant Forest Conservator Tabibur Rahman, who is in-charge of the safari park.

Some also reported the zebras had Covid-19. “However, reports from the International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) said the animals were not infected with the coronavirus,” he said.

There is no negligence on the part of the park authorities, he added.

The authorities of the park said they had been taking precautions since the first week of January when the first death was reported on January 2.

The latest was reported on January 25.

Last year, black and white stripes took over Gazipur’s Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park with the arrival of new zebra foals, as the breeding season began. 

The total number of zebras in the park was 31, and of them, 15 were male and 16 female. Park authorities were delighted to see the zebras in good health. 

They had also planned to export the zebras overseas, after meeting domestic demand.

Powered by Froala Editor