Update on Gharial plight.

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Astute observers may remember the news story about the mysterious death of gharials in the Yamuna river.

A recent report by the National Geographic Society suggests the the culprit is the food being fed to these animals.

They suggested that as the fish moved from polluted rivers into the Chambal, they ingested chemicals in their tissues. When the gharials eat the fish, these harmful substances pass into their systems.

One of the international vets who has been working on the case, Paolo Martelli, explained to the publication: “When cold temperatures came, the uric acid precipitated [separated into a fine suspension of solid particles] and began causing problems.

“So winter coupled with excess food could have made the gharials more susceptible to the toxin.”

One step closer, and none too soon either. 110 animals have died from this poisoning. Given that the wild population is estimated at 200, or less individuals this was a setback that these animals could not afford.

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