Published: Monday 15 January 1996

-- Lions of Tanzania are facing a serious threat from an unlikely quarter - domestic dogs. Canine distemper spread by these dogs have already killed 100 lions in the Serengeti region of Tanzania according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's species survival commission. It is an airborne disease which first infects the dogs and then the lions when they eat the carrion of infected dogs. However, the lions are not imperilled by the outbreak of the disease, says Michael Woodford, chairperson of the commission's veterinary specialist group. Efforts are on to prevent the disease from spreading to the Ngorongoro Crater near Serengeti, which houses lions that may be less immune to the disease due to inbreeding.

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