London: A Keralite family in New Zealand has been taken ill after eating a wild boar they had hunted down. Shibu Kochummen, his wife Subi Babu and mother Alekutty Daniel were found unconscious in their house at Waikato near Hamilton by the emergency services Friday night.
Two children, aged 1 and 7, who did not eat the meat, are unaffected. They are being looked after by the friends of their parents.
Hospital authorities and the police suspect that the three adults were infected by the toxins in the game meat even though chemical analyses are yet to be obtained. There is no significant improvement in their situation even after five days.
New Zealand media reported that a similar incident had happened in 1980 in the country, where game hunting is a favorite recreational activity. Waikato Health Board medical officer Richard Vipond said they were still investigating the potential sources of the illness.
Kochummen and family moved to New Zealand five years ago from Andoor, a village near Anchal in Kerala. His mother was visiting them. The family will have to spend a bomb on her treatment as she does not possess a health insurance.
The hospital bill and the expenses from the recovery period are sure to paralyze the family, friends said. The Hamilton Mar Thoma Congregation has launched a fund collection drive to support the family. Vicar Fr V T Kurian is leading the efforts. He can be contacted at 02102711939 and 096344448.
The congregation is asking for contributions on Facebook and other social media platforms. (Hamilton Mar Thoma Congregation, ASB Bank, account number 12-3152-0206554-000, reference Shibu).
The Indian high commission in New Zealand is also trying to help the family.
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