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Massive outbreak of anthrax in wildlife in the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve, Zimbabwe
  1. S B. Clegg, BSc, MSc1,
  2. P. C. B. Turnbull, BSc, MS, PhD2,
  3. C. M. Foggin, BVSc, DPhil, MRCVS3 and
  4. P. M. Lindeque, BSc, PhD4
  1. 1 Malilangwe Trust, Private Bag 7085, Chiredzi, Zimbabwe
  2. 2 Arjemptur Technology, Science Park, Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP4 0JQ
  3. 3 Wildlife Veterinary Unit, Private Bag BW 6238, Borrowdale, Harare, Zimbabwe
  4. 4 Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Private Bag 13306, Windhoek, Namibia

Abstract

A massive outbreak of anthrax in the wildlife of the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve in Zimbabwe between August and November 2004 resulted in the death of almost all the reserve's estimated 500 kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros). Other species badly affected were nyala (Tragelaphus angasi), bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus), waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus) and roan antelope (Hippotragus equinus), which suffered losses of approximately 68 per cent, 48 per cent, 44 per cent and 42 per cent of their populations, respectively. Buffalo (Syncerus caffer) were also badly affected and although their population suffered only a 6 per cent loss, the numbers of deaths ranked second highest after kudu. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first record of anthrax in wildlife in Zimbabwe.

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