Nica Richards
Deputy online news editor
4 minute read
3 Jul 2020
3:48 pm

Mystery deaths of elephants in Botswana baffling scientists

Nica Richards

Experts say poaching still can't be ruled out in the mass deaths of hundreds of elephants in Botswana, and warn that any threats to mature elephants is blow to their population demography that the world can't afford.

Botswana is home to some 130,000 elephants. AFP/File/MONIRUL BHUIYAN

The mysterious mass death of 275 elephants in and around the Okavango Delta has baffled ecologists, conservationists and Botswana’s Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism. The deaths started in March, and occurred in villages in the Okavango Panhandle and in the Okavango Delta’s sub-districts, Serongo and Eretsha. In a statement released on Thursday, Botswana confirmed the deaths of hundreds of elephants, and corrected international media reports on the number of carcasses, saying 275 elephants had died, not 356. The ministry said investigations into the deaths are ongoing, and that no evidence of poaching has been identified. Samples have...