Johannesburg - Kruger National Park vets will destroy between 125 and 150 buffalo on Tuesday as part of a final research project on Bovine tuberculosis, the Beeld reported.

The highly contagious disease, which has infected large populations of buffalo in the park, had been the subject of a four-year research project by veterinary researchers, according to the newspaper.

During the project, around 200 buffalo were fitted with radio monitoring collars and blood samples were taken every six months.

After the animals were put down on Tuesday, tissue samples would be taken and analysed.

According to Beeld, bovine tuberculosis first infiltrated the park in the 1950s, when buffalo on its borders came into contact with infected cows.

The first buffalo to succumb to tuberculosis died in 1990, but the disease had since spread to at least 12 other species, including lion, leopard, badgers and baboons. - Sapa