Anthrax outbreak kills 30 antelopes in South Africa

An anthrax outbreak in Kruger National Park in South Africa led to the deaths of 30 roan antelopes that were found over the weekend in a breeding enclosure.

Park officials are vaccinating members of the rare antelope species in the park to prevent the spread of the disease. William Mabasa, the spokesman for the park, said that the outbreak was under control, Times Live reports.

"There have been no changes to the situation in the park," Mabasa said, according to Times Live. "Our people are on the ground to contain the situation and it hasn't spread to any other areas."

Mabasa said that vaccinating all of the other animals in the park would not be possible.

"We are only vaccinating the roan antelopes because they are a rare species and we must protect them," Mabasa said, according to Times Live.

Prior to the outbreak, the park contained approximately 100 roan antelopes. Mabasa said officials were burning the carcasses to prevent the anthrax from spreading.

Anthrax outbreaks tend to occur every five to 20 years, the park said. The park experienced outbreaks of anthrax in the early 1960s, early 1970s and early 1990s and said that all mammals, including humans, are susceptible to the bacterial disease. While the disease is fatal, the park said that history has shown that anthrax works as a natural population control mechanism in the wild.