Dr Clay Wilson, a private veterinarian, diagnosed the disease and commented, in the article you can find under today’s date posted here
“that the lions could have acquired the disease from jackals”. The full article is available here This is probably the most common way in which this deadly disease is transmitted in Africa, so he is probably correct.As the jackal strain of the rabies virus can be identified with DNA techniques it will be interesting to follow this case.
A footnote to the article has wider implications and highlights yet again the dangers of plastic waste, the plague of so much of our world in every corner.
“Meanwhile three elephants in Chobe National Park died after eating trash from the Chobe landfill.”
A senior Wildlife Biologist, Mr Keagapetse Mosugelo said the elephants died as a result of plastics they ate in the landfill.
"The situation at the landfill is not good for animals,"he said, adding that the electric fence that has been installed is not sufficient as birds will still flying in to eat waste.
Chobe, which is a fascinating park that lies right in the north of Botswana, is one of the areas on the continent where elephants have created their own min-deserts as they are so abundant that have almost eaten themselves out of house and home.
When we visited Chobe ten years ago there were tracts of nothing but sand and elephants had to trek many miles every day between food sources and the Chobe river (which flows into the Zambezi) where I took this picture.
For readers of mystery novels, I would recommend Anthony Bidulka’s Sundowner Ubuntu: A Russell Quant Mystery which is set in Africa, and in which Chobe plays a vital role. Tony, whose web site is here visited Botswana as part of his “research” for the novel (tough research eh!) and was obviously hard bitten, but luckily not by a jackal.