The deaths of 12 elephants, last week, in a forest north of Zimbabwe’s famous Hwange National Park, are being investigated by Zimbabwean wildlife authorities
The carcasses of eleven elephants were discovered on August 28 and one of August 29 in the Pandamasuwe forest tucked between Hwange and Victoria Falls town. The dead animals are young adults aged between five and six years and juveniles around 18 months old.
Parks and Wildlife Spokesman Tinashe Farawo said, “We have ruled out things like poaching because the tusks are intact, we have also ruled out cyanide poisoning because no other animal has been affected including vultures which are feeding on them.”
Speaking of the cause of the deaths of the elephants, added that preliminary indications are there might be bacteria around because the “animals are overpopulated to an extent that their preferred vegetation is no longer there, so they end up eating anything including some poisonous plants”.
Farawo said Hwange, a park with an area of 14,600 square kilometres, has a normal maximum capacity of 15,000 elephants, but it currently holds between 45,000 and 53,000.