Posing a serious threat to the endangered species, another goral (Naemorhedus goral) died of suspected goat pox at Shyaro, a village in Jang-thingbu Tehsil in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh recently.
However, this time the infected Himalayan goral was alive when a team of veterinarians from Tawang led by Dr Thupten Tashi, Senior Veterinary Officer of Tawang had went to the remote village of Arunachal Pradesh, close to Indo-China border after getting information of a goral showing symptoms like goat pox.
The team of veterinarians administered treatment of goat pox on the sick Himalayan goral, but unfortunately it had passed away.
Dr Tashi while talking to Northeast Now from Tawang said that the symptoms were very similar to goat pox inflicting this endangered species which is designated as ‘threatened’ under the wildlife schedule.
It may be recalled that earlier in the month of April, the Tawang Forest Division staff had collected two carcasses of dead gorals from Mukto, another nearby village in the region, one was a sub-adult female and the other was a half decayed adult male.
When a team of expert veterinarians led by Dr Jahan Ahmed from the Department of Anatomy and Histology in the College of Veterinary Science of Assam Agricultural University (AAU), Khanapara; Dr Sorang Tadap; Dr Thupten Tashi, and the DFO Dr A Qayum from Mukto arrived at the place, the team found that the only one goat in the entire village too had skin infections.
This time also the Himalayan goral had similar symptoms like the earlier two carcasses.
Dr Tashi further said though efforts were made to save the endangered animal, it had succumbed to the disease suspected to be goat-pox, a marauding virus infection (virus family Poxviridae; genus Capripoxvirus) that can infect the entire endemic goral population .
Meanwhile, environmentalists fear this rare wildlife species that resembles both the goat and the antelope families may become extinct from this world.
The gorals are protected under Schedule – III of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
They are categorized under Near Threatened species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species (2008).
The population is declining rapidly. Gorals are found in the Himalayan ranges across Bhutan, Northern India, Nepal and Pakistan. The species lives in the hilly and high ranges near the cliffs in rocky terrain.