Between August 22 and September 5, a devastating outbreak of the Feline panleukopenia virus claimed the lives of seven leopard cubs at Bannerghatta National Park. Feline panleukopenia is a highly contagious disease that primarily affects members of the Felidae family, including domestic cats and leopards.
The affected leopard cubs, ranging in age from three to ten months, had initially been rescued from different parts of the state and brought to the park for rehabilitation. Despite receiving their initial vaccinations, the cubs contracted the virus before receiving their follow-up doses.
AV Surya Sen, Deputy Conservator of Forests and Executive Director of Bannerghatta Biological Park, expressed his regret during a media briefing, stating, “Feline panleukopenia, which predominantly affects cubs, is normally prevented through vaccination. This marks the first outbreak of the virus within Bannerghatta National Park. Unfortunately, all the deceased leopard cubs were between seven and eight months old.”
The park recently introduced a leopard safari tour, housing nine leopard cubs in the safari area. Tragically, three of these cubs succumbed to the virus, as did four cubs in the rehabilitation section. Currently, the rehabilitation center is home to 80 leopards, according to official reports.
In response to the outbreak, park authorities have taken precautionary measures, including thorough sanitization and increased vaccination efforts, to prevent further spread of the infection. The team is working tirelessly to ensure the safety and well-being of the remaining leopards in their care.
While the loss of these precious leopard cubs is heart-wrenching, it serves as a reminder of the importance of vigilance and proactive measures in protecting wildlife from contagious diseases like Feline panleukopenia.
– News Nine