For over a month, Botswana’s elephants have been victims of a mysterious evil. Some 350 elephants have been found dead during several overflights in the region. The country’s authorities have launched analyzes to understand the cause of this massacre. Two tracks are considered.
Since May, African elephants living in the Okavango Delta region of Botswana have been dying one after the other. The remains of 350 elephants of all ages, male and female, were found with no apparent injuries. Analyzes are underway to try to understand the causes of this unprecedented slaughter. Two theories are considered: poisoning or an unknown pathogen.
Witnesses were able to observe the behavior of the elephants before their death. The pachyderms walked in a circle and some fell, their heads forward. These manifestations may be a sign of neurological damage. The Covid-19 disease track has been considered, since the virus is of animal origin, but seems unlikely. Anthrax has also been considered, but has since been ruled out.
Niall McCann, an English researcher with the National Park Rescue Association, said the trail of poisoning was less solid: “Only elephants die, not other species. If it were cyanide used by poachers, other species would have been affected, “he told the BBC.
For the moment, the evil which strikes the African elephants remains mysterious. Cyril Taolo, Director of Botswana National Parks and Wildlife announced, “We have sent samples for analysis and we expect the results in the coming weeks. “
Whatever the cause of this mysterious evil, this is not good news for the African elephants, already threatened. In addition, the Okavango Delta is home to nearly 15,000 elephants, nearly 10% of the country’s elephant population.