HARARE: Zimbabwe suspects a bacterial disease called haemorrhagic septicaemia is behind the recent deaths of more than 30 elephants but is doing further tests to make sure, the parks authority said.
The elephant deaths, which began in late August, come soon after hundreds of elephants died in neighbouring Botswana in mysterious circumstances.
Officials in Botswana were initially at a loss to explain the elephant deaths there but have since blamed toxins produced by another type of bacterium.
Experts say Botswana and Zimbabwe could be home to roughly half of the continent’s 400,000 elephants, often targeted by poachers.
Elephants in Botswana and parts of Zimbabwe are at historically high levels, but elsewhere on the continent – especially in forested areas – many populations are severely depleted, said Chris Thouless, head of research at Save the Elephants.