Of all animals known to “bite”, the usually tame buffalo, chewing quietly on the roadside, seems to be on a biting spree this year. The Veterinary Department of the MCD has seen a sudden rise in the number of buffalo bites that has already surpassed the number of bites in the last seven years.
While in 2004, just two bites were registered, this year
between January to May, 17 bites have already been recorded. No reason for the rise has, however, been ascertained. “The data is taken from several hospitals. Reasons are not cited,” said a senior official.
The data provided of different animal bites from January to May this year suggests that on an average, Delhi is witnessing 50 animal bites every day.
Dogs bites, of course, number the most at 6,928 cases. Monkey bites are also high at 303 cases. Cat bites come in third at 119. The total number of bites from dogs, monkeys, horse, cats, buffalo and others are around 7,460.
With horse tongas being banned in the city, horse bites have considerably decreased. So far, only one case has been registered.
According to Uma Menon, board member of Frendicoes SECA, an animal welfare
NGO, cows and buffaloes have a “route map” in their head with which they find their way back home. However, with construction all around, they sometimes lose a sense of familiarity with the roads and get panicky.
Unlike dog bite that runs the risk of a person contracting rabies, buffalo bite does not result in any serious symptoms. “Buffaloes are not known to carry any rabies-like infection that can cause death among human beings; hence, there is no set treatment pattern,” said Dr SP Byotra, head of department of internal medicine, Ganga Ram Hospital.
As for dogs, a senior official said that the MCD is trying to control their population by sterilising them. So far, the 10 NGOs registered with MCD who are supposed to sterilise dogs have sterilised 27,313 dogs.