“Absolutely unprecedented” death of elephants in Botswana for the last two months surrounded by mystery, BBC reports.
Dr. Neill McCann charitable Foundation National Park Rescue (“Salvation of national parks”) stated that colleagues in the southern African country since the beginning of may recorded through the aerial survey more than 350 carcasses of dead elephants in the Okavango Delta.
No one knows why animals die, and the results of laboratory studies have to wait still a few more weeks.
In Botswana, home to a third of the population of elephants in Africa.
Dr. McCann told the BBC that local environmentalists first warned the government about the dead animals at the beginning of may, after a flight over the Okavango Delta.
“They noticed 169 elephants during a three — hour flight,” he said.
“A month later, further investigation revealed many more carcasses, bringing their total number exceeded 350. This is absolutely unprecedented in the number of elephants killed in one single event, not associated with drought”, he added.
Back in may, the government of Botswana has ruled out poaching as the cause of mass death, because the tusks of the animals remained in place, according to Phys.org.
There are other things that point to something other than poaching.
“Die only elephants, and no one else, said Dr. McCann. — If it was the cyanide that was used by the poachers, you would see the other die.”
Dr. McCann also previously excluded deaths resulting from anthrax that last year in Botswana killed at least 100 elephants.
However, scientists can’t rule out death due to poisoning or disease. Before dying, the animal fell mainly on the face, walked in a circle. According to Mr. McKenna, which then attacked their nervous system.
Anyway, not knowing the source, it is impossible to exclude the possibility of transmission of disease to humans — especially if the reason for the water sources or soil. Dr. McCann recalls the pandemic COVID-19, which is believed to have started because of transmission of coronavirus from animals.
“Yes, it’s an environmental disaster — but it also has the potential to become a crisis of health,” he said.
Dr. Cyril Taolu, acting Director of the Department of wildlife and national parks Botswana, told the Guardian that has confirmed the death least 280 elephants, and the process of confirmation of the death of the other.
But officials don’t know what caused the death of animals.
“We have sent [samples] to the test, and we expect results within the next two weeks,” he said.
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