Hundreds of dead elephants in Botswana may have suffered from a novel disease
- Officials in Botswana says the cause of an elephant die-off may be a novel disease.
- At least 350 elephants have been found dead in the country in the last two months.
- Botswana is home to Africa's largest elephant population of 130,000.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Elephants in Botswana may be facing a deadly outbreak of their own.
Earlier this month, conservationists told Business Insider that at least 350 elephants have been found dead in the African country over the last two months, with no answers yet as to what killed them.
Distressing photographs show some of the elephants have fallen on their faces on the savanna, never to get up again.
But Botswanan officials suggested in a recent statement that a novel disease could be to blame, according to Bloomberg.
That's because samples of the elephant carcasses tested so far have ruled out known diseases that have caused mass deaths in herds in the past.
The officials said they plan to release more information on the tests next week.
Botswana has already received test results from samples sent to Zimbabwe, but is waiting for more results from South Africa next week before sharing findings with the public.
UK-based conservation organization National Park Rescue has criticised the Botswanan government for not addressing the deaths fast enough.
"It's one of the biggest disasters to impact elephants this century, and right in the middle of one of Africa's top tourism destinations," Mark Hiley, National Park Rescue's co-founder, said.
Botswana, in southern Africa, with 130,00 elephants, is home to the world's largest population.
Hiley said that conservationists had urged Botswanan officials to act, to no avail.
He said officials dragged their feet for weeks about sending samples of the carcasses off for analysis.
Receive a daily update on your cellphone with all our latest news: click here.
Get the best of our site emailed to you daily: click here.
Also from Business Insider South Africa:
- Hilton gives up Cape Town hotel, but says it will stay in SA
- SA cinemas still closed - amid a lack of new movies, uncertainty about new rules
- SA now shops earlier in the day – here’s when grocery stores are busiest in your province
- 80% of South Africans who contracted Covid-19 at work are women
- A day-by-day breakdown of Covid-19 symptoms shows how it goes from bad to worse