Botswana is home to a third of the dwindling elephant population in Africa.

By Balthazar Malevolent


Mystery surrounds the "absolutely unprecedented" death of hundreds of elephants in the last two months in Botswana.

Botswana Dead Elephants.

Dr. Niall McCann of the UK-based charity National Park Rescue said South African country colleagues have spotted more than 350 elephant carcasses in the Okavango Delta since the beginning of May.

According to the government, no-one knows why the animals are dying, with laboratory results on samples still weeks away.

"In terms of the numbers of elephants dying in a single incident unrelated to drought, this is completely unprecedented."

"It's just elephants that are dead, and nothing else. If poachers used cyanide, you'd expect other deaths."

Dr. McCann tentatively ruled out natural anthrax poisoning, which last year in Bostwana killed at least 100 elephants.

But they were unable to rule out either intoxication or illness. "The way the animals appear to be dying - many falling on their faces - and sightings of other elephants walking in circles point to something that could potentially attack their neurological systems," Dr. McCann said.

Either way, the risk of a disease spreading into the human population is difficult to rule out without knowing the source - particularly if the origin is in either the water sources or the soil. Dr. McCann points to the Covid-19 pandemic, which is thought to have begun in animals.

"Sure, this is a catastrophe in terms of biodiversity - but it also has the potential to be a public health issue," he said.

Dr. Cyril Taolo, acting director of the Wildlife and National Parks Department of Botswana, told the Guardian that at least 280 elephants had died and the department was in the process of confirming the rest.

They did not know however what caused the deaths of the animals.

"We sent off samples for processing and we're awaiting the tests in the next few weeks or so," Dr. Cyril Taolo added.

We wish none of the designers would use ivory in accessories' production. Especially in 2020, it looks completely wrong. Victoria Beckham has never used ivory in her collections.

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