DIAZ: Wildlife still need attention to stop mass die-off amidst COVID-19 pandemic

DIAZ: Wildlife still need attention to stop mass die-off amidst COVID-19 pandemic

The world is keen on containing the COVID-19 pandemic and reopening economies but another disaster is slowing lurking as wildlife face a great danger of an unknown ‘enemy’.

Over 350 elephants have died in Northern Botwana under mysterious circumstances with authorities still investigating to establish the cause of the mass die-off.

“We are aware of the elephants that are dying. Out of the 350 animals we have confirmed 280 of those animals. We are still in the process of confirming the rest,” Dr Cyril Taolo, the acting Director for Botswana’s Department of Wildlife and National parks told the Guardian newspaper.

The sad happenings in Northern Botswana is worrying and a great threat to conservation as wildlife is one of Africa’s source of revenues through tourism.

Conservationist Chris Diaz says what’s unfolding in Botswana is a great danger to conservation and there is need for the world to prioritize into this issue to stop the lurking disaster.

“This is a worry as nearly 350 elephants have died with no clear reason…. It’s a conservation disaster and the world needs to understand the cause and see how to stop it,” he said.

Diaz adds: “Elephants are loving magnificent animals and indeed, one of man’s best friend, and a big tourism earner by creating development in the Africa continent.”

A Reuters report indicates that poaching or poisoning has been ruled out as the cause of the elephant deaths.

The carcasses were found intact, suggesting they were not poached. Further investigations have also ruled out poisoning by humans and anthrax, which sometimes hits wildlife in this part of Botswana.

Africa’s overall elephant population is declining due to poaching, but Botswana, home to almost a third of the continent’s elephants, has seen numbers grow to 130,000 from 80,000 in the late 1990s, owing to well managed reserves.

Additional report from Reuters

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