With poaching curtailed, a new menace to Nepal’s wildlife
Among the pathogens in Chitwan’s “soup kitchen” are the closely related species within the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. Scientists have long recognized the menace posed by M. tuberculosis, the typical human pathogen infecting both Asian elephants and 3 million people in South Asia.
The Chitwan rhino casualty represented a newly recognized pathogen, M. orygis, originally diagnosed in captive Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx), and more recently identified in other antelope species, humans, spotted deer (Axis axis), rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) and domestic cattle. While the original host of M. orygis in Chitwan remains at large, NTNC veterinarian Amir Sadaula said that the organization is currently investigating domestic cattle in the buffer zone as a potential reservoir.