Nov 22, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – The Sri Racha Tiger Zoo in Thailand reopened Nov 18, one day after Thai authorities reported a final tally of 102 tigers lost in the zoo’s outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza.In a follow-up report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), authorities said 102 tigers died of illness or were euthanized in the past month at the zoo near Bangkok. Tigers fell sick after eating the carcasses of chickens later found to be infected with H5N1 avian flu.All necessary controls have been put in place and samples have been collected from all susceptible animals, from zoo staff, and from the grounds, the report said.About 1,000 people visited the zoo Nov 18, its first day back in business since the outbreak forced the zoo to close, according to a Nov 18 story by the Thai News Agency. Admission was free, but visitors face new rules that keep them farther away from the tigers and bar them from picking up tiger cubs. The zoo’s official reopening is scheduled for Nov 27.Elsewhere in Thailand, avian flu killed hundreds of pigeons at schools in Sukhothai province’s Thung Saliam district, prompting panic among local residents, the Bangkok Post reported Nov 19.Bird carcasses had been found Nov 5 at a primary school and a nearby kindergarten. Tests confirmed on Nov 17 that the pigeons had been exposed to avian flu, heightening fears of transmission to students. Two schools with 500 students were closed, the newspaper reported, adding that none of the students appeared to have symptoms, but authorities were monitoring them.A local health official called the school closings an overreaction, the newspaper story said. Volunteers were instructing people in the district not to touch the dead birds and to avoid entering affected areas without proper protective gear.In Vietnam, authorities are investigating the deaths of more than 3,000 ducks in the central province of Binh Thuan, the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported today. The ducks reportedly had swollen heads, paralyzed legs, and exhaustion, according to the news agency’s summary of local press reports.One newspaper, Vietnam Agriculture, characterized the ducks as having cholera, the Xinhua reported. A local veterinarian said samples from the affected ducks were being tested, but added that they showed no signs of avian flu.Xinhua also reported that Vietnam had found 20 chicks infected with H5 influenza in mid-November in Can Tho city. However, the OIE Web site’s most recent report on avian flu outbreaks in Vietnam is from Oct 22.See also: OIE update on avian flu in animals in Asiahttp://www.oie.int/downld/AVIAN%20INFLUENZA/A_AI-Asia.htm
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, (CMC) – Prominent jurist and former national cricketer, Prakash Moosai has described late former international umpire Clyde Cumberbatch as a man of “impeccable integrity.”Speaking during a tribute at the funeral for Cumberbatch on Friday last, Moosai said the Trinidadian had always carried the highest values and these had always been evident during his umpiring career.“The man was a man of impeccable integrity and he did what he thought was right and honest,” Justice Moosai told mourners gathered at All Saints Anglican Church.“For that, Trinidad and Tobago and the West Indies region owe him a lot because they were able to get someone who was so independent, full of integrity and impartial.”Moosai, who played 20 first class matches for Trinidad and Tobago during the 1980s, said though Cumberbatch took officiating very seriously, he was often lighthearted off the field.“Clyde had this no nonsense demeanour on the field of play but when he was off, he would always share a drink with the players and have a chat,” he recalled.Former umpire Vivian Johnson, secretary of the West Indies Umpires Association, also said Cumberbatch had been defined by his integrity.“Clyde would always be remembered as a man of tremendous integrity,” the Jamaican said.“I umpired with him and shared a close relationship with a man I saw as a mentor.”Cumberbatch passed away a week ago after falling ill at home and failing to recover after being rushed to hospital.The 81-year-old stood in 12 Tests during a 14-year career between 1981 and 1995, and also officiated in 26 One-Day Internationals…He was eulogised by his son Robert at the service attended by prominent local administrators administrators Baldath Mahabir, Lalman Kowlessar and Deryck Murray.