World Zimbabwe: Twelve elephants are said to have died from the same bacterium

20:35  29 september  2020
20:35  29 september  2020 Source:   20minutes.fr

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"They were found lying on their stomachs", which suggests "an extremely sudden death", according to the director of the Parks and Wildlife Authority

Des éléphants © SIPA Elephants BIODIVERSITY - “They were found lying on their stomachs”, which suggests “an extremely sudden death”, according to the director of the Parks and Wildlife Authority

Twelve other elephants have were found dead in Zimbabwe , bringing to 34 the number of pachyderms which, in one month, probably succumbed to the same bacterium, the authorities in charge of wildlife said on Monday. "A total of 34 carcasses have been found [...] but more have yet to be located," said Parks and Wildlife Authority director Fulton Upenyu Mangwanya.

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The animals died between August 24 and September 23 near Hwange Park, Zimbabwe's largest reserve, located near the border with Botswana. “They were found lying on their stomachs”, suggesting “an extremely sudden death,” he said. Tests conducted in Zimbabwe indicate illness caused by bacterial infections.

Poisoning trail cleared

Rangers initially feared poisoning by poachers, but this trail was ruled out because the animals were found with their tusks intact. Further analyzes are to be carried out in South Africa, but also in laboratories in Great Britain and the United States.

Elephants are overpopulated in Zimbabwe, which has more than 84,000 individuals, for an estimated ecological capacity of between 45,000 and 50,000. In the Hwange reserve, which has between 45,000 and 53,000 elephants over some 14,600 km2, many of them have died of hunger and thirst in recent years. In neighboring Botswana, which has 130,000 free-roaming elephants, the largest population in the world, the mysterious deaths this year of over 300 pachyderms have been attributed to natural toxins.

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