Nepal | August 13, 2020

Botswana investigating mystery deaths of 275 elephants

Reuters
Share Now:

GABORONE: The number of elephants found dead in Botswana‘s Okavango Panhandle has risen to 275 from 154 reported two weeks ago, the government said on Thursday.

Authorities are investigating the unexplained deaths over the past months. Poaching has been ruled out as the carcasses were found intact.

“Three laboratories in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Canada have been identified to process the samples taken from the dead elephants,” the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism said in a statement.

In early May, Elephants without Borders (EWB), a conservation organisation, reported that its own aerial survey showed elephants of all ages appeared to be dying.

“Several live elephants that we observed appeared to be weak, lethargic and emaciated. Some elephants appeared disorientated, had difficulty walking, showed signs of partial paralysis or a limp,” EWB director Mike Chase said in a report seen by Reuters.

“One elephant was observed walking in circles, unable to change direction although being encouraged by other herd members.”

In the report, EWB put the death toll at 356 and Chase said urgent action was needed to establish if the deaths were caused by disease or poisoning.

Africa’s overall elephant population is declining due to poaching but Botswana, home to almost a third of the continent’s elephants, has seen numbers grow to 130,000 from 80,000 in the late 1990s.

However, they are seen as a nuisance by some farmers, whose crops have been destroyed.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi lifted a five-year ban on big game hunting in May last year but the hunting season failed to take off in April as global travel restrictions meant hunters from many coronavirus-hit countries could not enter Botswana.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Coronavirus vaccine: Russia ahead on track, who is next?

KATHMANDU: Over 150 vaccines are being developed and tested around the world to stop the COVID-19 pandemic, of which 28 are in human clinical trials, according to the World Health Organization. Meanwhile, Russia has become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 Read More...

Nepal COVID-19 Update: 484 new cases, 64 recoveries, eight deaths reported Wednesday

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Health Ministry, in its regular press briefing, shared the latest updates on coronavirus contagion from across the country, and government’s response to the health crisis. As of today, 473,179 tests through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method have been carried out wh Read More...

Nepal sees highest Covid-19 death toll in a single day; eight deaths reported Wednesday

KATHMANDU: Nepal has logged eight more Covid-19 related fatalities in the last 24 hours. This is the highest single day death-toll from the coronavirus infection recorded so far. Spokesperson at Ministry of Health and Population, Dr Jageshwar Gautam, informed public about the eight cases of fatal Read More...

Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 20.41 million, death toll over 742,000

At least 20,414,289 people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 742,207 people have died, a Reuters tally showed.  Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.  Read More...

Pandemic and State: How is state accountable?

COVID-19 Global Lens The COVID-19 pandemic presents the world with a huge challenge: everyone and every area is affected, and the response has to be both quick and consorted. This pandemic may be primarily a health crisis for some states, but COVID-19 is also an education crisis, an employment an Read More...

Kathmandu valley's coronavirus cases hit another record; 138 new infections reported today

KATHMANDU: Kathmandu valley, yet again, recorded the highest single-day Covid-19 cases on Wednesday with 109 new cases in Kathmandu district, 21 in Lalitpur, and eight in Bhaktapur. A total of 138 new infections were reported today from inside the valley. With today’s additions, active case Read More...

Dhading district

One week prohibitory order issued in Dhading to contain COVID-19 spread

DHADING: A prohibitory order has been decreed in Dhading's headquarters Dhadingbesi and its peripheral areas with the increase in COVID-19 transmission, since Wednesday. In an attempt to curb further potential spread of the highly contagious infection, the District Administration Office took a de Read More...

Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt diagnosed with lung cancer

KATHMANDU: Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, who was rushed to hospital in Mumbai after complaining of chest discomfort and breathlessness, has been diagnosed with lung cancer. The news was confirmed by Bollywood's trade analyst and film industry insider Komal Nahta on August 11 night, according to I Read More...