They Solve the Mysterious Death of Hundreds of Elephants in Botswana

    Must Read

    Creating a Conscious alternative news network that we feel the world needs. Pura Vida!

    Between May and June of this year, hundreds of elephants were found dead in just two months in Botswana. The images of the lifeless bodies multiplied and were heartbreaking. Botswana is home to a third of Africa’s declining elephant population. No one knew the reason for this massive death.

    Local wildlife authorities reported that toxins produced by microscopic algae in the water were the cause of the death of hundreds of individuals. Authorities say a total of 330 elephants are now known to have died from ingesting cyanobacteria. Poaching was ruled out as a cause of death.

    TIP: Get our latest content by joining our newsletter. Don't miss out on news that matter in Costa Rica. Click here.

    Climate change

    Cyanobacteria are toxic bacteria that can occur naturally in stagnant water and sometimes grow to a large extent into what are commonly called blue-green algae. Scientists warn that climate change may make these events, known as toxic blooms, more likely, because they benefit from hot water. The findings come after months of testing in specialized laboratories in South Africa, Canada, Zimbabwe and the United States.

    Many of the dead elephants were found near pools of water, but until now authorities had doubted that bacteria were to blame because bacteria appear on the edges of ponds and elephants tend to drink from the middle.

    “Our latest tests have found that cyanobacterial neurotoxins are the cause of deaths. These are bacteria found in water,” said Mmadi Reuben, chief veterinarian for the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, at a press conference.

    The deaths stopped at the end of June 2020, coinciding with the drying up of the (water) ponds. Reports from June noted that their fangs had not been removed, meaning poaching was not a likely explanation. Anthrax poisoning has also been ruled out, according to senior wildlife department official Cyril Taolo. But questions remain about the deaths, Reuben told reporters.

    “We still have many questions to answer, such as why only elephants and why only that area. We have a number of hypotheses that we are investigating,” he said. The hundreds of bodies were detected with the help of aerial surveys earlier this year.

    Elephants in Botswana

    “Without precedents”

    Niall McCann of the UK-based charity National Park Rescue previously told that local conservationists first alerted the government in early May. “They detected 169 (bodies of dead elephants) in a three-hour flight,” he listed. “Being able to see and count so many in a three-hour flight was extraordinary,” he said. “This is unprecedented,” he emphasized. Twenty-five elephants out of a group died recently in neighboring Zimbabwe. Test samples have been sent to the UK for analysis.

    What are cyanobacteria?

    Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, are found throughout the world, especially in calm, nutrient-rich waters. Some species of cyanobacteria produce toxins that affect animals and humans.

    People can be exposed to cyanobacterial toxins by drinking or bathing in contaminated water.

    Symptoms include skin irritation, stomach aches, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, fever, sore throat and headache. Animals, birds, and fish can also be poisoned by high levels of toxin-producing cyanobacteria.

    Relocate to beach work remote
    Resonance has been created to bring together a community of digital nomads, entrepreneurs, innovators, wisdom keepers, alternative thinkers, mentors and light leaders from all over the planet to bridge the gap between demanding work and living a lifestyle that offers the opportunity to live and work in an environment that is nourishing and supportive.

    LIKE THIS ARTICLE? Sign up to our newsletter and we will send you updates of our latest content as soon as they are available. Click here.

    - Advertisement -
    - Advertisement -

    Latest News

    Aaron Rodgers Reveals That Ayahuasca Led Him to the Best Season of his Career

    Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and current NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the past two consecutive seasons
    - Advertisement -

    More Articles Like This

    - Advertisement -
    Language »
    Be Part of the Community!
    Stay Up To Date And Connected

    and engage with likeminded folks on Costa Rica


    13 Years Changing The Way You Look At News!

    Get TCRN In Your Inbox & Never Miss Any News That Matter In Costa Rica!