Firstly, several elephants were found dead in the western Zimbabwe region. After an investigation, the cause of a sad demise was suspected of a bacterial infection. This type of infection usually occurs from eating poisonous plants. Moreover, the death count is now 22, and “More deaths could happen”, – spokesman of the country’s park.
Yesterday, most of the elephants found dead in the Pandamasue Forest. The forest lies between the vast Hwange National Park and Victoria Falls. Certainly, the elephants who died from infection were young and weak. Due to the scarcity of food, the younger elephant could not reach heights. Often, they end up eating everything and some of the vegetation that might even be poisonous”.
Mr. Farawo says, that problem could persist through the dry season. On the other hand, Zimbabwe is facing successive climate-induced droughts. In past years, the situation left animals with less water and vegetation for food. Dead elephants, their tusks still on their bodies is ruling out poaching activities. Furthermore, Zimbabwe has previous witnessed poacher poisoning elephants. They use cyanide to drop them and leave with ivory tusks to sell in the black market.
Moving on, investigators will look into deaths, poisonous plants and try to find a link to those reported in Botswana.
Mr. Farawo says –
“There is no evidence to link the Botswana incident and what is happening in Zimbabwe.”
On the other hand, scientists are investigating the deaths. In the last month, more than 275 elephants are dead in Botswana’s Okavango Delta Area. All three possibilities of poaching, poisoning, and anthrax have been ruled out.
Animal Welfare groups for example African Wildlife Foundation expressed concern at the deaths. Both in Botswana and Zimbabwe – park rangers are removing carcasses of dead elephants. Since the bodies lie near human settlement ‘to prevent any potential transfer of pathogens’. This is a precautionary measure.
Today, Botswana has the world’s largest elephant population and second is Zimbabwe. Around last year, 200 elephants died due to starvation in Zimbabwe.