Blue sheep’s go blind take wildlife experts by surprise

blue sheeps blind disease action plan

Jai Kumar



Peculiar disease that has gripped the blue sheep in Uttarakhand Himalayas has become a matter of urgent concern among wildlife lovers and state forest department, who are taking it with both surprise and dismay.

Gangotri National Park in higher reaches of Garhwal region has been witness to strange phenomenon these days linked to Blue sheep locally called as Bharal. A disease has a surfaced in these mammals which is making them go blind. The matter came to light when a team of Border Security Force mountaineers, who came across some blue sheeps with the teary eyes and few among them even found blind.

The team brought the matter to the notice of Gangotri park authorities. Gangotri park team has even brought a dead body of a blinded blue sheep and sent it for post mortem. Even samples were sent to Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bareilly to probe the reasons behind the blinding and ultimately death. But the exact reason is still be known.

Senior Uttarakhand wildlife official Dr Dhananjaya Mohan disclosed that a special team is being sent to Kedartal, the affected area to study the causes. He apprised that as the weather conditions these days are very inclement in the region, help has also been sought from National Institute of Mountaineering to bring in one or two affected blue sheeps for the study. He however denied that the disease was contiguous

 and could spread to other animals also.