The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) commissioned the study to Humane Society International (HSI) to get an idea of potential threat to tigers from canine viruses.According to Dr Amit Chaudhari, who was in-charge of the survey, HSI carried out the survey across the upper and lower altitude villages around Corbett national park and took a sample size of 90 villages from 318 villages. “We found that 90 per cent of the dogs were stray pet who were shepherd dogs. Villagers also said they were attacked and taken away by tigers at times, exposing them to potential viruses,”Chaudhari told dna.HSI informed NTCA that tigers and leopards in the sanctuary are at a risk from canine diseases like rabies, parvo and distemper, all viruses that can be transferred from canine to feline as the big cats prey on the dogs in the buffer zone. HSI said they will propose vaccination of dogs around the national park. NTCA officials could not be reached to know if it plans to vaccinate the dogs around Corbett national park.

Nikhil M Ghanekar

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Thousands of unvaccinated dogs found around Corbett, tigers open to virus threat: Study