Botswana elephant deaths were caused by water-borne bacteria
Botswana elephant, water-borne bacteria have killed 330 elephants in Botswana, the government says after weeks of thinking about what killed the animals.
Neurotoxin producing cyanobacteria species has been responsible for death of some 330 elephants earlier this year, Botswana’s officials say. The deaths are caused by poisoning due to cyanobacteria which are growing in pans https://t.co/DEHc2GbDNu pic.twitter.com/Y4FVFdqoAG
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Analyzes of specific data
“Analyzes of specific data on … carcasses, soil, blood and water from seasonal water basins … were performed for laboratory tests that detected and diagnosed cyanobacteria,” said Mamadi Reuben, Chief Veterinarian of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks.
He said cyanobacteria living in water in the Okavango Delta can produce deadly toxins, with elephants showing signs of nervous system degradation.
Reuben added that other animals that drank from the same source might not have been affected in the same way, as pachyderms “have their trucks access to water below the surface where this bacteria resides.”
“We also found that the mortality stopped when the pans started to dry out in June of this year.
“We know that the rainy season is approaching and we are working on some strategies to ensure that we do not have any more elephant deaths in this area,” Reuben said.
Botswana is known for its nature and a popular tourist destination for its wildlife.
The lifting of the elephant hunting ban last year sparked international outrage.
President Mokgweetsi Masisi said at the time that hunting was necessary to control the elephant population of nearly 130,000 elephants.