Deaths of hundreds of elephants in Botswana, in recent weeks

Published: July 31, 2020

The government of Botswana is still in the dark regarding the deaths of hundreds of elephants in the country in the recent weeks and the investigation is still going on by the authorities.

Highlights

The government has already ruled out poaching and anthrax as the possible causes of deaths of the elephants. There is a possibility of a novel virus affecting these animals or poisoning of the elephants. The government has asked for assistance from laboratories in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Britain and the United States. The investigations will come out with an aerial survey also very soon.

Investigation so far

The National Veterinary Laboratory has not been able to establish the causes of death even after examining 281 of the elephant carcasses found in the popular Okavango Delta area of the country. There is no sign that the mortality has spread beyond the initial area of concern but still, the incidents pose a grave threat to the population of elephants in the country. The district team is also monitoring the situation at the ground level.

Background

This is one of the biggest disasters to impact elephants this century and that also right in the middle of one of the most popular tourism destinations in Africa. Botswana has the largest population of elephants in the world with a total count of more than 1.56 lakhs as per the last census done in 2013.

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