Mystery as 275 elephants suddenly fall dead in Africa – but poaching is ruled out – World News


Wildlife charities have expressed concern over the unexplained death of more than 270 elephants in Botswana. The creatures have suddenly collapsed into a heap on the ground since the beginning of May in the Okavango Panhandle area.

The government has yet to explain what happened to the animals, but has ruled out poaching because all the carcasses have remained intact.

But National Park Rescue is concerned about what it sees as slow progress.

Mark Hiley, co-founder of National Park Rescue, said today: “Elephants started dying in large numbers in early May and the government would normally respond to an event of this magnitude within days.

Authorities investigate deaths of more than 270 elephants

“Yet here we are, months later, with no tests completed and no more information than we had at the start. ”

The massive deaths of elephants on this scale are almost unprecedented, certainly in Botswana. A potential correlation between the latter and the coronavirus pandemic remains to be ruled out.

“You can’t get elephants to social distance, and you can’t get them inoculated,” said Chris Thouless, research manager at Save the Elephants.

Charities recognize government faces unprecedented situation

But the professional does not believe that the authorities are dragging their feet.

He continued: “It is a fairly distant country, hearing about carcasses, entering them, taking a whole range of samples, knowing how and where to get them, … it is a rather difficult task. ”

Mmadi Reuben, senior veterinarian in the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, said, “A government investigation team has been on the ground since the first cases were reported. Botswana responded quickly.

“We have sent samples [following tests] in Zimbabwe and South Africa to look for other known pathogens or a new pathogen. ”

The coronavirus crisis has delayed the release of some samples from the country.

Botswana is home to around 130,000 elephants, a third of Africa’s total, making it a magnet for wildlife lovers.


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