BOTSWANA, AFRICA (CW44 News At 10) – A disturbing rate of unexplained wild elephant deaths is sounding alarms with wildlife conservationists. Poaching has historically been a contributor to death-rates; however, that has been ruled out at this time due to the presence of tusks on many of the bodies.
Some wildlife officials are reporting strange behavior such as the elephants running in circles and dragging their legs just prior to death. They sudden and unnerving symptoms suggest poisoning. According to Phys.org, more than 100 elephants died in October 2019 from a suspected anthrax outbreak.
Samples of elephant remains have been collected with intentions on sending them to laboratories for further testing. According to a Business Insider article, the government in Botswana was supposed to deliver the test samples to Pretoria, South Africa, but instead were delivered to a lab in Northern Botswana, described by some as “unqualified” to handle them.
Botswana, considered one of the last safe-havens for elephant conservation has seen a decline in population in the last few years. Experts suggest unless action is taken, elephants extinction in parts of Africa will occur within the decade.