2 July, Kathmandu
Hundreds of elephants have died mysteriously in Botswana’s famed Okavango Delta, according to an official who ruled out poaching as the tusks were found intact.
“We have had a report of 356 dead elephants in the area north of the Okavango Delta, and we have confirmed 275 so far,” Cyril Taolo, acting director of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, told AFP news agency through a text message.
Samples have been collected and sent to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Canada for testing.
The latest discoveries were flagged by a wildlife conservation charity, Elephants Without Borders (EWB), whose confidential report referring to the 356 dead elephants was leaked to the media on Wednesday. EWB suspects the elephants have been dying in the area for about three months.
According to the report dated June 19, 2020, “70% of elephant carcasses were considered recent, having died about a month ago, and 30 percent of the carcasses appeared fresh, ranging from one day to two weeks old.”
“There was good evidence to show elephants of all ages and sex appear to be dying,” said the report penned by EWB director Mike Chase.
Several live elephants appeared to have been weak, lethargic and emaciated, with some showing signs of disorientation, difficulty in walking or limping, EWB said.
Source : International News Agencies