Why are elephants dying? The race to solve the mystery of mass die-offs

Hundreds of animals perished in Botswana and new deaths are reported in Zimbabwe – now scientists are trying to find the cause

Earlier this year, more than 350 elephants mysteriously died in the Okavango delta in Botswana. Individuals of all ages and both sexes were affected, with many walking in circles before dying suddenly, collapsing on their faces. The mass die-off in May and June was described as a “conservation disaster”.

Three months later, most surviving elephants have fled. Last week a plane flew over the Okavango Panhandle, an area in the north-west of the delta where most of the deaths occurred, and eight elephants were spotted, when normally you would see hundreds, says Dr Niall McCann, director of conservation at UK-based charity National Park Rescue. “It is understandable, I’m sure you or I would flee if all our friends and relatives were dying, and that’s what the elephants appear to have done.”

Continue reading…


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Enter Your Information Below To Receive Free Trading Ideas, Latest News, And Articles.

Please Enter Your Email Address:

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us and our affiliates. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!


The world must seize this opportunity to meet the climate challenge | Andrew Bailey and others

We are currently in the midst of the most severe macroeconomic shock since the second world war. The disruption to our daily lives and...

Crisps, chocolate and cheese worst offenders for recycling, report says

Crisps, chocolate and cheese are among the worst foods for packaging recyclability, with big brands such as Pringles, KitKat and Babybel singled out for...

Weatherwatch: what is the dew point?

The dew point is the temperature at which a certain area of air must be cooled to for dew to form. It is also...

The week in wildlife – in pictures

A vine climbs along the bark of a tree in the Karura forest in Nairobi, Kenya Photograph: Baz Ratner/Reuters For the first time in decades, bald...

Indonesia’s shark fishermen: 24 went out, 20 came back. What happened on the boat? – video

Play Video 3:12 Crew from rural Indonesian villages, recruited by suspected traffickers, endured horrendous conditions aboard an illegal Chinese-run sharking operation in the western Pacific. Four...