GUWAHATI, Oct 20 - Traces of anthrax were found in the samples of one of two dead buffaloes at Pobitora, triggering an alert in the wildlife sanctuary.
The buffaloes had died on October 16.
�Tests conducted at the veterinary college confirmed traces of anthrax. We are taking all precautionary measures,� sanctuary Ranger Mukul Tamuly told The Assam Tribune over telephone yesterday night.
The carcass of the buffalo in which the anthrax bacilli was detected has been buried eight feet below the ground so that the disease does not spread. An area of around 20 feet where the carcass was buried has been cordoned off.
�Apparently, it has not spread. Else, there would have been more deaths. A lot of cows also graze in the sanctuary and they are very vulnerable,� he added.
The incident comes two days before the sanctuary opens for tourists this season.
The opening is slated for October 22 and the date remains unchanged.
Anthrax is an infectious bacterial disease of animals caused by the spore-forming bacteria Bacillus anthracis. It can affect humans and a wide range of animals. Cattle and sheep with anthrax generally die suddenly. Just prior to death, animals may show signs of high fever. Blood may be present around the nose, mouth and anus of carcasses. It can cause largescale animal deaths.