India scrambles to save tigers from deadly virus
NEW DELHI (AP) -- India is scrambling to protect its beleaguered wild tigers after several big cats tested positive for a virus common among dogs but deadly to other carnivores.
Rajesh Gopal of the National Tiger Conservation Authority says canine distemper virus has killed at least four tigers and several other animals across northern and eastern India over the past year.
The revelation is bad news for India's wild tigers. They are already endangered by rampant poaching and shrinking habitat as India undergoes breakneck development to accommodate the staggering growth of its 1.2 billion population.
Gopal says India will now test every tiger carcass it finds for the virus while authorities consider a plan to vaccinate dogs for canine distemper.