More elephants have been discovered dead in Zimbabwe, a wildlife agency said on Wednesday.
The carcasses of the elephants were discovered near a major game park, bringing the total to 22, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority – Zimparks – said.
Earlier, Zimparks had ruled out poaching and cyanide poisoning as a possible cause of death of elephants in Pandamasuwe Forest in western Zimbabwe, because their tusks were intact.
Zimparks spokesman Tinashe Farawo said the latest elephant carcasses were found on Tuesday and Wednesday. Most of the animals were young. The oldest was 18 years.
The elephants, tusks intact, had died in circumstances similar to those first reported last week.
“We suspect it is the same causes as the first group and we are also looking at taking samples to other independent laboratories to broaden our investigations,” said Farawo.
He said it will be a while before a final report on the causes of the deaths is ready.
Zimparks officials say the biggest threat to Zimbabwe’s elephant herd is overpopulation and that lower rainfall this year could again leave the animals facing starvation after at least 200 died in 2019 from insufficient water and food.
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