Canine Distemper Can Kill Tigers

Canine distemper is a well known dog virus. It is very contagious and deadly. However, it can be prevented through vaccination. It not only makes dogs very ill; it can also affect wild animals such as ferrets, raccoons, skunks, wolves and foxes. It can also infect “some felidae“. Felidae is the scientific name for the cat family. Fortunately the disease does not infect domestic cats but it can be transmitted from dogs to tigers and kill them.

This is exactly what has happened in India. City of Chandrapur municipal workers have been removing stray dogs and dumping them in a forest that is adjacent to or near the Tadoba-Andhari tiger reserve in which there are an estimated 80 tigers.


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The virus is known to have killed tigers in India in the past so the actions of these workers seems rather careless. Their behavior is compounded by the fact that the disease is preventable through vaccination, as mentioned.

The tiger in India is already highly endangered through loss of habitat, loss of prey and poachers who kill it in anyway possible (poisoning is a popular method) for body parts. There are 1,700 left in India.

If four tigers have been killed by the canine distemper virus it represents a notable loss especially if the loss occurs in one reserve because the reserves often have very few tigers in them. The loss of tigers in a reserve can negatively impact breeding, a vital component in conservation.

I hate to say it but it does make me feel that some people in authority are not taking the conservation of the tiger that seriously.

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Canine Distemper Can Kill Tigers — 8 Comments

  1. Many private owners in U.S.A might be owning more “Pet Tigers” than the natural tigers inhabiting the various wild-life parks in India.

    link :- http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2010/10/21/americas_5000_backyard_tigers/

    “Tadoba” is one of the best maintained National parks where tiger density is the best. African national parks faced the “Canine Distemper” problem a decade ago and it wiped out a large population of the lion. The cause in Africa was traced to Hyena’s which intermingled with village dogs scavenging as well as lion kill scavenging and hence transmitting the virus from dogs to lions.

    • There are so many health hazards, which are indirectly or directly caused by people, for the tiger and all wild cat species. Canine distemper is another one that conservationists want like a hole in the head.

      • I agree- the people authority are not taking it seriously. Infact that’s just a nice way of saying they couldn’t give a flying f**k what happens to the tigers as long as they are being paid to pretend to protect them. These people are the very worst in my opinion. The ones who have the authority to protect animals but who are too corrupted to do it. Clearly in India this is the case – along with the fact that the political classes in India couldn’t really give a shit about anything, animals, women you name it they don’t care as long as they get their freaking baksheesh. How many lahks must they be paid to do their job properly? Just the other week the cheif of police of India said that he thinks girls are asking to be raped if they go out at night or they wear pretty clothes. Coming from the very man who’s job it is to protect the people in his society. He looks like another lazy keralan to me. His eyes are red, he looks evil that man.

        I’m sorry but there’s too much that needs to be done.

        • Well, you said it better than me, Marc. I am reluctant to be judgmental but…Don’t get me wrong, I like India and the people but there is too much corruption and a lack of concern for wildlife with a heightened concern for making money.

          There is no question in my mind that the Bengal tiger in India is doomed in the wild. Give it 20 years and we can stop worrying about it because it will be over.

  2. If any animal can be spared by a simple vaccine, we are remiss not to be doing it.
    Take that money from researching lipstick color choices and put it where it should be, a–holes!

    • very tre dee i agree if a vaccine helps then go ahead it would be so sad to see these precious big cats in decline. I just saw on the news how in copenhagon they shot a 18 month girafe i was very saded as this was done in front of children and people this should of been done more in a humane way.

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