Hundreds of elephants have died mysteriously in Botswana’s famed Okavango Delta, the head of the wildlife department said on Thursday (July 2), ruling out poaching, as the tusks were found intact.
The landlocked southern African country has the world’s largest elephant population, estimated at around 130,000.
“We have had a report of 356 dead elephants in the area north of the Okavango Delta and we have confirmed 275 so far,” Mr Cyril Taolo, the acting director of the department of Wildlife and National Parks, told AFP in a text message.
He said the cause of the deaths was yet to be established, with anthrax having been ruled out.
“We do not suspect poaching since (the) animals were found with tusks,” he said.
Samples have been collected and sent to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Canada for testing.