Elephants allegedly starved to death in northwestern Botswana: official

GABORONE, Dec. 18– A yet to be ascertained exact number of elephants have allegedly starved to death over the past three months in the fauna infested northwestern part of Botswana, an official has said. Dimakatso Ntshebe, the regional wildlife coordinator in Botswana’s Department of Wildlife and National Parks, told Xinhua Monday in response to a questionnaire…

GABORONE, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) — A yet to be ascertained exact number of elephants have allegedly starved to death over the past three months in the fauna infested northwestern part of Botswana, an official has said.

Dimakatso Ntshebe, the regional wildlife coordinator in Botswana’s Department of Wildlife and National Parks, told Xinhua Monday in response to a questionnaire that several elephants died in the Khwai area, northwest of Botswana.

Ntshebe said introductory investigations into the discovery of several carcasses of elephants in the area established the large mammals displayed swollen feet and visible sores before falling to death.

“The body condition of the deceased elephants indicates malnutrition, as it has been below average,” said Ntshebe, adding that lack of forage in the area due to persistent heatwaves thanks to the unrelenting climate change.

He said the elephants’ deaths are attributable to drought and natural causes, saying the elephants are crisscrossing large distances in search of food and water hence exhibiting swollen feet.

According to Ntshebe, investigations are ongoing to establish the real cause of the elephants’ deaths.

Samuel Ramatonto, a senior meteorologist with Botswana Meteorological Services (BMS), said on Monday the southern African country has been experiencing extremely hot conditions.

“Rains came very late this year hence insufficient forage and water in most parts of the country,” said Ramatonto. Rains only started falling around mid-December, he said, adding that the levels are still very low. Enditem