Preliminary investigations suggest that natural bacterial toxins may be responsible for the mass deaths of wild elephants in the Okavango Plain.
Elephants die in the Okavango Plain. Photo: Reuters.
Botswana – a landlocked country located in southern Africa – is home to the largest population of elephants in the world, with about 130,000 animals. In a shocking report earlier this month, the government said as many as 350 wild elephants have mysteriously died since March in the Okavango Delta.
Authorities have so far ruled out the possibility that elephants were infected with anthrax or poisoned by poachers because their tusks are still intact. Local witnesses said many of the elephants went in circles before they died, showing signs of nerve damage.
“We are not yet able to reach a final conclusion, but according to the preliminary investigation we have received, natural poisoning could be the cause of the mass death of elephants,” said Dr. Cyril, head Department of wildlife protection and Botswana National Park on 31/7 said in an interview.
Cyril further explained that some natural bacteria are capable of producing toxins, especially in stagnant puddles that elephants use as drinking water.
The Elephant Cross-Border Conservation Organization (EWB) is concerned that the number of dead elephants will continue to increase in the near future, because many of the surviving animals appear thin, weak, limp and have difficulty in determining the direction. direction.
The Botswana government is working with laboratories in South Africa, Canada, Zimbabwe and the United States to confirm the cause, and is looking for solutions to the conservation of living elephants.
(According to AFP)