24 August, Kohalpur, Tuberculosis Test has been started in Elephants at Chitwan National Park. The work of collecting samples of live elephants has been started from today after tuberculosis bacteria was found in the dead elephants of Chitwan National Park.
There are 59 elephants in the park. Senior veterinarian of the park Vijay Shrestha informed that the work of collecting samples for TB tests in elephants of Sauraha has started. Blood samples are being collected from the ears or tails of elephants.
There are 20 elephants in Elephant breeding Center Khorsor and 8 in Sauraha. He said it would take four to five days to collect samples of the elephants. After this, the samples of the elephants in the post will be collected and sent for testing.
Samples will be sent to a private laboratory called Center for Molecular Diagnosis in Kathmandu. He informed that only TB will be tested now. Fifteen elephants in the park have died of starvation since 2002 due to tuberculosis. It is estimated that 25 elephants died during that period, among other causes.
Tuberculosis was first reported in elephants in the district in 2002. The transition continued until 2016. Tuberculosis was found in 17 elephants in the park, 41 in private and two in the National Nature Conservation Fund. Although no infections have been reported in the next few years, it is estimated that four elephants have died of tuberculosis since 2018.
According to Dr. Shrestha, the last time Dipendragaj died on July 3 was due to tuberculosis. He said that the post-mortem of the three dead elephants had revealed lung problems and it was estimated that they had contracted tuberculosis.
There are also 57 elephants in private hotels in the area. Shrestha estimates that tuberculosis has appeared in elephants in the second stage. Stating that the elephant can be saved if it is treated in time, he said that the treatment work is being intensified. Chief Conservation Officer of the park, Ananath Baral, informed that the work of tuberculosis testing would be started immediately.
He said that all the elephants would be tested as they could be cured by treating them if they contracted tuberculosis. The elephants in the park are kept at various posts for security while private elephants are being used by hotels to carry tourists.
The park is internationally famous for its elephant safaris. Here in the community forest, tourists are taken around on private elephants. Tourists enjoy riding elephants to see rare wildlife like One-horned Rhino, Bengal Tiger, crocodiles. Doctors say that treatment for tuberculosis in elephants is time-consuming and expensive.