More Crocodile Pansteatitis

About a month ago, I posted on the mysterious deaths of crocodiles in the Olifants river system in Kruger National Park, South Africa.  A recent update indicates that the cause of the fatal pansteatitis outbreak is still unknown despite intensive study.  An interdisciplinary research captured 11 live crocodiles and found that seven of them were afflicted by pansteatitis.  This is a scary prevalence rate.  The media release strangely refers to these cases as “infections,” but this is probably not correct as pansteatitis is typically caused by environmental poisons (e.g., rancid fat from spoiled fish).  The current theory is that the crocs are acquiring the poisoning from eating the carcasses of other afflicted crocs.  The intervention park managers are attempting now is to burn the bodies of dead crocs recovered by rangers.  So far, rangers have counted 130 crocodile carcasses in the park.

6 thoughts on “More Crocodile Pansteatitis”

  1. I am devastated that the cause of the problem has not yet been identified. If it is known to have occurred in crocodile and ostrich farms there must be some evidence from which to start.
    What chemical change causes fat in a live bird or croc to harden? Is it known to occur in other species--mammals? If not, why not?
    How can I help?

  2. Now, I read that they're shooting hippopotamuses to provide easy food sources for the crocodiles. I guess they're hoping that the carcasses will be a more appetizing alternative to fish and other crocodiles. Not to mention that they're still burning as many croc corpses as they can find. I hope they can find and contain the original source soon.

  3. press release given by dr Danie Pienaar, head of SANParks veterenary sciences. If you would like a copy please contact me.

  4. It is very devastating that so many crocs are affected by this natural disease. It’s a shame that the longest living dinosaur to die out so quickly and suddenly it is much like the anthrax plague of the Kruger. We hope a solution will be found in the near future if there is any thing to be done maybe get more of the societies involved please let us know. From Grade 11 Geography Grantley College South Africa.

  5. The treatment of pansteatitis in cats is vitamin E. Has anyone tried this with the crocs?

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