350 Elephants killed in Botswana – Scientist Resolves the Mystery
Did Government of Botswana replies – 350 Elephants were killed by a combination of neurotoxins in water?Let’s Find out.
Seventy percent of the elephants were found dead earlier this year near watering holes and toxic blue-green algae traces were found on there body.
Mmadi Reuben who is a principal veterinary officer at the Botswana department of wildlife and national parks stated that Initially, speculation were made over the deaths which covered poaching, anthrax & poisoning. However, now they have pointed to toxic blooms of cyanobacteria as the cause of death of 350 elephants altogether, which is a naturally occurring neurotoxin and biological phenomenon and has increased due to climate change.
Dr Niall McCann, co-founder of U.K.-based charity National Park Rescue in a statement to ABC News said that – the intensity and severity of harmful algal blooms are increasing due to the situations like the wildfires in California and Oregon, floods in the U.K., this climate change is the threat multiple, making this issue more likely to reoccur.
Mmadi Reuben further stated that – according to there latest tests, they have detected cyanobacterial neurotoxins to be the cause of deaths of those 350 elephants, which is yet to be further confirmed. This anaerobe bacteria is found in water of seasonal water pans.
Tissue samples taken from the affected elephants are still being analyzed by lab partners in the United States, U.K. and South Africa, Director of conservation at U.K.-based charity National Park Rescue,stated that officials should refrain from drawing any conclusions until those results are in.
After several months of research and studies, in the survey’s most carcasses were found clustered around water sources close to the Okavango Delta which, in normal times, is a major tourist safari destination. Animals were even found walking dizzily in circles before suddenly dying.
Reuben stated that- With the exception of one horse, other animal species were not affected by the blue-green algae phenomenon. Now here the most important part which needs to be noted is elephants suck water with their trunks from underneath, so they drink from deeper levels in the waterholes, closer to silt where the anaerobe toxins are contained.
It is also stated by the officials that Just because cyanobacteria were found in the water, that does not prove that the elephants died from exposure to those toxins. Officials also stated that Without good samples from dead elephants, all hypotheses are just that: hypotheses.
The investigation still continues unless the cause is confirmed. Moreover now the country is already engaged in development of monitoring plan aimed at detecting the blooms early in the water before they cause harm to the animals and taking necessary precautions.