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Hundreds of elephants found dead in Botswana

Hundreds of elephants found dead in Botswana
Elephant carcasses were first spotted in Okavango Delta in northern Botswana from the beginning of May - Reuters
AT LEAST, 350 elephants were found dead in Botswana since May.

What does it mean?

Elephants were first spotted to have died in the Okavango Delta, northern Botswana from the beginning of May.

Dr Niall McCann from a UK-based charity National Park Rescue told the BBC, that over 169 elephant carcasses were spotted when his team undertook a 3-hour flight over the delta.
"A month later, further investigations identified many more carcasses, bringing the total to over 350,” said Dr McCann.

What happened?
The cause of death for these elephants have yet to be identified, with samples already being sent to labs for testing.

The Botswana government has denied poaching as a reason back in May claiming that the tucks of the dead elephants have not been removed.

Poisoning and diseases have also been ruled out.

Dr McCann said that the elephants died while facing down and there have been sightings of elephants walking in circles before they died indicating a possible neurological disorder.

While there are a number of possibilities for what could have caused the deaths, McCann did not dismiss an elephant-specific parasite or even COVID-19.

Botswana is home to a third of Africa's elephants with an estimate of 130,451 elephants according to the Great Elephant Census. Sadly, the population has decreased by 15 per cent since 2010.