It’s a tragic site for conservationists in Africa after discovering hundreds of elephants dead in Botswana.
The elephant carcasses were found in the Okavango Delta, a protected area for elephants.
The deaths were first reported in May when conservationists spotted 169 elephant carcasses during a 3-hour flight over the delta.
A month later another investigation was carried out where more elephants were found bringing the total to 350.
“This is totally unprecedented in terms of numbers of elephants dying in a single event unrelated to drought,” Dr Niall McCann told the BBC.
Botswana government officials have ruled out poaching as none of the elephants’ tusks have been removed.
“It is only elephants that are dying and nothing else,” Dr McCann, from nonprofit National Park Rescue said. “If it was cyanide used by poachers, you would expect to see other deaths.”
Tests on the elephant carcasses have been carried out but due to coronavirus there is a delay analyzing the samples, LadBible reports.
It’s also been reported that some of the elephants were walking around in circles, suggesting whatever the reason behind their deaths, it caused a neurological issue.
Dr McCann explained: “If you look at the carcasses, some of them have fallen straight on their face, indicating they died very quickly. Others are obviously dying more slowly, like the ones that are wandering around. So, it’s very difficult to say what this toxin is.”
Those elephants that have been found alive seem emaciated and weak suggesting they may be dying.
This is a tragedy. Let’s hope the urgency of doing these tests is now seen by officials so the cause can be found and stopped.