NAMIBIA DESERT LION DIES OF ANTHRAX: ENVIRONMENT MINISTRY

Namibia's environment ministry said Wednesday that the desert lion found dead last month died of anthrax.

Famously known as XPL 98, the five-year-old lion was found dead but with no signs of poisoning in the Ugab area in Kunene region about 300 kilometres from Windhoek.

The death of the lion caused a stir worldwide prompting the environment ministry to investigate the cause of death. In a statement released Wednesday, the ministry said an autopsy done by conservation expert Philip Stander had revealed that the lion died of anthrax.

Although the statement said Stander had found what appeared to have been extensive bleeding inside the chest cavity, samples of soil collected at the scene of death tested positive for anthrax.

"The samples tested positive for Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis). Blood and tissue samples collected from the lion carcass were also submitted to Central Veterinary Laboratory for further analysis and also tested positive," the ministry said.

According to the statement, the ministry said the carcass was burnt to avoid further spread of the disease.

"We would also like to assure the public that measures were taken to ensure no further spread of anthrax from the carcass to other areas or other animals," the statement said.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK