In a terrorist plot to rid the world of large, round unbelievers who spray feces with their tails, 30 hippos have died from anthrax exposure in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda.
Well, at least the part about the anthrax is true. And, actually, the whole part about hippos spreading their feces with their tails is also true, but that’s beside the point.
Many people don’t realize that anthrax is a naturally occurring bacteria found in the soil in many parts of the world. Animals that eat grass are particularly vulnerable to exposure because they inhale the particles while grazing. While hippos spend most of the day in the water, they come up on land at night to graze.
In 2004, 300 hippos died from anthrax exposure in Queen Elizabeth NP. The infection can spread rapidly through the scavenger food-chain if it is not isolated quickly by the park authorities.
When a hippo carcass is found to be infected with anthrax, it is buried – no small feat in itself!