Thursday, October 6, 2016

Anthrax-Infected Hippos Affects Zambian Diet

Did you know that hippopotamus meat was edible? I certainly didn't. But, apparently, this "exotic" meat is a "fine game food" (according to famed hunter Peter Capstick). So fine that demand for hippo meat has been causing devastating effects on the hippo population in Congo (see the link below for more details). 

Anyway, back to infectious diseases. In Zambia, an anthrax (bacterium Bacillus anthracis) outbreak is affecting the local hippopotamus population. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that a) it is currently the dry season (April to November), so hippopotamuses crowd around limited pools of water in the heat, increasing chance of transmission and b) there is a drought in Zambia, forcing animals to move further.

Locals are advised to stay away from eating hippopotamus meat AND from handling dead animals. Fortunately, it sounds like the government has the situation under control.

Read more on Hippo Meat:

-- Sharon Kam

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