Hundreds of elephants have reportedly died in one of the most mysterious ‘die-offs’ in the Northern area of Botswana.
While their cause of death remains unknown, the Government is yet to undergo tests on the carcasses. This is related to the possible concerned findings of traces of poisons or pathogens.
The incident is being recalled by many as a huge ‘conservation disaster.’
According to sources, a staggering total of more than 350 elephants have dropped dead due to unknown causes. Likewise, aerial photographs showcase their carcasses lying scattered across miles of the famed Okavango Delta, including several northern areas of the country too.
Similarly, the first incident of unusual elephant deaths took place in May at the same location, where around 169 elephants died, within a small time frame.
In short, the Okavango Delta is an area that comprises marshy as well as lush wildlife habitats.
According to local news sources, the numbers towards the mid of June have reportedly doubled, with around 70% of deaths taking place near waterholes.
While the possibility of Anthrax is being ruled out, the local government has still not tested the carcasses for any traces of poisons or pathogens, which could assist in the investigation. With that being said, Cyanide poisoning was previously used by Zimbabwe’s poachers and hence can’t be ruled out.
The director for conservation at the National Park Rescue, Dr. Niall McCann, has reportedly told The Guardian:
‘This is a mass die-off on a level that hasn’t been seen in a very, very long time. Outside of drought, I don’t know of a die-off that has been this significant.’
Meanwhile, scientists are constantly urging government agencies to test all the animals, as a means to ensure minimal risk to all human life. This relates to the fact that transmission from humans to animal pathogens is one of the most popular theories at the world’s forefront now.
Further reports from the area termed locals witnessing the elephants as walking in a circular motion, clearly suggesting some sort of neurological impairment by either poisons or pathogens.
Whatever the case may be, many higher officials blamed the restrictions in place for COVID-19 as the main cause of delay in processing the tests.