Cause Of Hwange Elephants' Deaths Revealed
An investigation into the deaths of 20 elephants in Hwange National Park has suggested that they could have died of a disease called hemorrhagic septic-aemia.
The contagious bacterial disease affects cattle and water buffaloes with a high mortality rate in infected animals.
The Director-General of Parks and Wildlife Management Authority of Zimbabwe Fulton Mangwanya told Parliament on Monday while giving oral evidence that the diseasecan cause massive deaths. He said:
The results, to date, point to cause of elephant deaths in Zimbabwe being a disease known as hemorrhagic septic-aemia. It has been reported to kill Asian elephants in India. It also affects cattle, pigs and chicken in Southern Africa, in which species it can cause massive mortalities.
The disease is said to have killed over 200 000 saiga antelopes in Khazakhstan in 2015.
Elephants have over the years been attracting large numbers of local and foreign tourists hence they are a major revenue source for Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, authorities have been expressing concern over the ever-increasing number of elephants saying they are now unable to contain the herds.
International laws governing the sell and management of wildlife has restricted Zimbabwe from selling the elephants.