Thai National Parks have moved to replenish their inventory for the supply of ‘Mineral Lick’ for the prevention and treatment of ‘Lumpy Skin Infection’ at the Kaeng Krachan World Heritage Forest. Mr. Wichai Watcharawongpaiboon, Director of Conservation Area Administration Office 3, Phetchaburi, revealed that from studies of the case of a Gaur carcass found infected with lumpy Skin infection in the Kuiburi National Park area, the team has surveyed and followed up methods in order to prevent further infection in the region.
Local government organisations, such as the Department of National Parks Wildlife and Plant Species, have emphasised the surveillance of emerging diseases in wildlife in the Kaeng Krachan World Heritage Forest, Huai Kha Khaeng World Heritage Forest, Khao Yai, Dong Phaya Yen World Heritage Forest and the joint forest area of five provinces in other areas where animals are at risk of Lumpy Skin Infection and other emerging infectious diseases, and are determined to do everything to protect the livestock.
In the past, outbreaks of Lumpy Skin disease have been reported in countries where the disease was carried by blood sucking insects, and 2 months ago one infected Gaur and several suspected animals were found in Kuiburi National Park.
Accordingly, the 5ational 7arks have increased proactive measures and prepared a veterinary team of staff and medical supplies for immediate treatment if severely ill animals are found in the forest. This includes the making of a ‘Mineral Lick’ treatment that contain various minerals deemed appropriate for herbivores, with added vitamins A, D, & E to enhance the immunity of wild animals and Selenium to aid wound healing. In the event of an outbreak it will still be difficult to control because of the large open areas in question and it is not possible to quarantine all of the wildlife there, however the supply of 2 tons of minerals and vitamins from Phat-Farm Co., Ltd. will greatly aid the situation.
After applying the Mineral Lick it was found that many Bulls and Red Bulls, including wild Elephants, came down to eat, and in the Kaeng Krachan National Park area, supplies of the medicine have been replenished at Huai Kom Krit protection unit and two areas beside water sources, 12 further points have been set up in the Kui Buri National Park.
From pictures captured, it can be detected that some wildlife have mild lesions on both hips but the disease has not yet spread, of course some animals have other natural defence factors against insect-borne disease, every Gaur can be seen with a bird standing on their back like a guard against the swarm of insects because the birds love to peck the insects for their food. The incubation period of Lumpy Skin disease is 28 days, and so far, there have been no reports of wildlife dying from it, but those officers who are involved in closely monitoring the severity of lesions in wildlife herds are waiting to see if the number of infections has increased.
As for the ecological protection, where the Gaur and Buffalo are in the open grassland and an insect bites or sticks to them, they will be startled and move, this can prevent too much troubling from the insects and reduce the chances of repeatedly being struck by any disease carried by biting insects. Another protective factor within the anatomy of many hoofed animals such as, Gaur, Cattle, Buffalo, and Red Bulls, they have muscles that constantly tremble and twitch as soon as an insect attaches to their bodies, the twitching of the muscles repels the insect and it is protected physiologically.
It has long been known that animals have an innate sense of their own wellness and how to treat themselves when they self-diagnose a problem, they will admit themselves to a local ‘Hospital’ to supplement their salt intake as they know the salt contains many minerals that will aid the recovery of wounds and also repel insects and parasites. Then they will visit the neighbourhood ‘Healing Spa’, a muddy place with a water source in the forest where they can apply lovely moisturising mud to themselves, this will also aid in the prevention of insect bites. Animals that are injured or sick will regularly visit the nearest ‘Pharmacy’ to find the variety of wild plants that are medicinal to them and feed on them to heal.