"We have a potential soup kitchen of pathogens that needs to be investigated,” U.S. veterinarian Deborah McCauley said about Chitwan’s domestic animal population in an interview in Sauraha.
Investigations already conducted among livestock have uncovered alarming results. A recent study of 100 domestic dogs in Chitwan’s buffer zones conducted jointly by the NTNC, Washington State University, and McCauley’s organization Veterinary Initiative for Endangered Wildlife (VIEW) yielded 27 individuals with canine distemper, the disease which killed at least four Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) in neighboring India in 2013. Furthermore, over ten domestic Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in Nepal died of tuberculosis between 2002 and 2014, and in 2015, a comprehensive screening of captive elephants throughout the country found that 13 percent carry TB antibodies."
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