Friday 7 August 2020
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enca - 29 days ago

Botswana finds more dead elephants

Botswana finds more dead elephants Estelle Fri, 07/10/2020 - 07:28 Teaser Media Paragraphs The carcass of one of the many elephants which have died mysteriously in the Okavango Delta in Botswana.  AFP/National Park Rescue SERONGA - Botswana wildlife officials investigating hundreds of unexplained elephant deaths have verified six more carcasses and say it is still not clear what is killing the animals, around two months after the first bodies were spotted. Officials told reporters near the Okavango Delta that they had now verified 281 carcasses and that the deaths were concentrated in an area of 8,000 square km that is home to about 18,000 elephants. Flying over the area in a helicopter, a Reuters reporter saw one carcass splattered in droppings from vultures, which had eaten some of the flesh, and red paint from officials marking verified carcasses. Hundreds of live elephants wandered nearby. READ: Botswana reports mysterious deaths of hundreds of elephants We are not dealing with a common thing, it looks like it s a rare cause, said Mmadi Reuben, principal veterinary officer at the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, adding the death rate in the affected area was below 2 percent. We cannot rule out anything at this stage, it could be a virus, vegetation, overnutrition after last year s drought ... We have asked the community not to interact with the carcasses. He said officials were expecting to receive test results this week on samples sent to South Africa and Canada. Although the number of deaths so far represents a fraction of the estimated 130,000 elephants in Botswana, there are fears more could die if authorities cannot establish the cause soon.


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