KWS Denies Anthrax Killed 100 Buffaloes

A Kenya Wildlife Service warden has dismissed claims that more than 100 buffaloes have died of anthrax in Nakuru National Park.

Park senior warden Dickson Ritan yesterday said he, however, cannot comment much on the matter as KWS veterinaries are still carrying out tests.

He said he will only make a formal statement when the veterinaries finish compiling their report.

“At the moment no buffaloes have died of anthrax and our KWS veterinaries are still conducting tests,” Ritan said.

Speaking to the Star on the phone, he urged the public not to pay attention to speculations about the disease.

Nakuru Agriculture executive Stanley Chepkwony on Tuesday sent a press statement to newsrooms, saying more than 100 buffaloes had died of anthrax.

He said an open sewer near the park has contributed to the spread of the disease in Nakuru town and its environs.

“The fencing of the sewer around Lake Nakuru will really help in curbing this disease. It is easy for the animals to come into contact with the bacteria because they drink water from the sewer,” Chepkwony said.

He said the animals also graze on fresh shoots of grass after rainfalls, leading to anthrax outbreak due to the ingestion of organisms picked from contaminated soils.

Chepkwony said the county government has imposed a quarantine on livestock in Rongai, Nakuru West and Nakuru East subcounties.

He said his department has confirmed the outbreak of anthrax after a series of tests.

Chepkwony said veterinary officers have been dispatched to all the subcounties where results were positive.

He said no meat is allowed in and out of the subcounties.

“We are also warning people not to come into contact with these animals or meat. People should also eat inspected meat,” Chepkwony said.

Health chief officer Samuel Mwaura said doctors are on high alert and no person has been reported to have contracted the disease.