Business Standard

Virus attacks Himalayan blue sheep, eyes bulge out

IANS  |  New Delhi 

The Forest Department on Friday told the (NGT) that it spotted at least seven more blue sheep with infection in eyes due to an "unknown virus" at the National Park.

The virus reported from the Park in district was infecting the sheep due to which their eyes were popping out, officials said.

The case first appeared in September 2017 after a year-old blue sheep was found infected and died.

After a petition was filed by Gaurav Bansal, the Central and governments were told to investigate the matter.

On Friday, an affidavit filed by the Chief of Uttarakhand, Digvijay Khati, at the Tribunal stated: "Seven blue sheep having infection in their eyes were spotted and it was observed that the animals were facing difficulty in moving."

But the infected animals could not be caught due to difficult terrain.

The sample of the dead animal sent to the research centre in Bareilly in did not help reveal the reason for the virus, told IANS.

The National Park is spread over 2,390 sq km and ranges at an altitude of 2,800 to 7,100 meters above sea level. The park will reopen for public in April.

Said Dhananjay Mohan, Conservator of Forest, Uttarakhand: "This is the first such incident for us... It is unclear what exactly it is. We have contacted experts abroad where such cases were reported."

Bansal, who filed the petition, fears that there are chances of the elusive snow leopard catching the virus as the mountain blue sheep is its main prey.

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, February 09 2018. 17:56 IST
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