Potential cause of elephant pestilence in Botswana named

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Natural toxins could be the cause of the massive deaths of elephants in Botswana. Cyril Taolo, head of the country’s wildlife and national parks department, spoke about this.

According to him, at least 281 animals died, reports Reuters.

The results of tests done in different countries show that infection as a cause of death is unlikely, Gazeta.Ru writes. Scientists are finding out which toxin could kill elephants.

The mass death of elephants in Botswana began in April. At the same time, the animals are clearly not killed by poachers: there are no signs of violent death on the bodies, and the tusks for which they are hunted are intact. It was assumed that anthrax could be the cause of the pestilence, but recent analyzes have refuted this version.

According to the Science Alert portal, most of the dead elephants lay prone on the ground. This speaks of a sudden death. In addition, most of the carcasses were found near water bodies in northern Botswana, in the Okavango Delta Nature Reserve. However, in neighboring Namibia, similar cases have not been recorded.

Botswana is home to about a third of all African elephants – more than 130 thousand individuals.

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