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Elephant Population in Zimbabwe Facing Similar Deaths as Neighboring Country of Botswana, Bacterial Infection Suspected as Cause of Young Elephant Deaths

The number of elephant carcasses discovered by Zimbabwean wildlife authorities in the Hwange National Park has doubled since first reported on Sunday 30 August 2020. Fears are that more African elephants will succumb to these deadly bacteria that is suspected to have killed the juvenile and young elephants, as investigations continue into the elephant deaths.


Image: CCFlickr by David Kneale: Elephant family drinking at waterhole Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe


WION News Anchor Palki Sharma: “Let us now shift our attention to Zimbabwe’s wildlife agency which has said that 22 elephants have died from a suspected bacterial infection, possibly from eating poisonous plants in western Zimbabwe. The agency has said that more deaths are expected as they continue to investigate the issue. The wildlife agency officials have said that many young elephants are becoming a victim of an infection, sparked by eating poisonous plants. Overpopulation has also been cited as the biggest threat to animal survival in the wildlife-rich southern African country. The official has said that apart from possible bacterial infection some of the animals could be dying due to the stress of walking long distances for food and water.”

Wildlife Agency Representative: “Our scientists are suspecting that there is a bacteria which is causing the death, ah, of of these animals. These things, they normally happen during this time of year because of, ah, food shortages mainly, ah… The biggest problem that we have, ah, is, ah… the biggest threat infected that we have for the survival of our animals is, ah, loss of habitat and, uh,  if you look at the mortality rate most of the animal, animals that, ah, are succumbing mainly are those that are weak and those that are young because the young ones they cannot reach for the higher branches in the field and they terribly ended up eating everything and some of the, ah… some of the vegetation that they eat might be poisonous.”

WION News Anchor Palki Sharma: “Zimbabwe has been facing successive climate-induced droughts in recent years leaving the animals with less water and vegetation for food. The dead young elephants were found with the tusks still on their bodies ruling out any acts of poaching. In recent years poachers in the country have poisoned dozens of elephants with cyanide and then have taken their ivory tusks to sell them to illegal traders. Investigations will also try to establish if there is a link between the deaths and those reported in neighboring Botswana as well.”

Watch WION YouTube Video: transcribed from:  Zimbabwe finds more elephant carcasses, Elephants die from suspected infection | World News   WARNING video contains some disturbing footage, “disturbing visuals” of dead elephants.

Images: CCFlickr by David Kneale Elephant family drinking at waterhole  Hwange National Park , Zimbabwe & Elephant sunset, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe


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Image: CCFlickr by David Kneale : Elephant sunset, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

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