US News A toxin behind the mysterious death of Botswana elephants?

21:16  31 july  2020
21:16  31 july  2020 Source:   lepoint.fr

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Botswana, éléphant © Provided by Le Point Botswana, elephant

The images had been around the world. In Botswana , over 350 elephants had died within a few weeks in early May with no explanation being found. According to recent tests carried out on animal carcasses, a natural toxin is the cause of their death, reports Reuters . Several avenues had been considered, such as poisoning or an unknown pathogen.

According to Cyril Taolo, director of national parks and wildlife in Botswana, it is unlikely that a disease caused the disappearance of the pachyderms. Almost two months after the macabre discovery, the country's authorities believe they have finally found the cause. "We have received more test results from other countries, including the US , and at the moment the results show that it is quite unlikely that the cause of elephant death could be an infectious pathogen. », Said Cyril Taolo. Botswana had collected samples for sending to laboratories located in South Africa , Zimbabwe and the United States.

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Tests still pending

"We are now focusing on investigations concerning broader environmental factors such as toxins produced naturally by bacteria present in the environment, such as rivers, ”he adds. Botswana's Director of Nationals and Wildlife then details the identification process initiated by the authorities.

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“It's an elimination game where we start by testing the most common causes and then move on to the less common ones. We then need to verify and corroborate these results from different laboratory tests. We hope to provide a more concrete update soon, ”says Cyril Taolo. In Botswana, more than 135,000 elephants share the territory. Conservationists feared that this massive decimation would spread even further and claim other victims.

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