The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: 19 Jumbos Die

At least 19 elephants and two rhinos have died at Hwange National Park due to lack of water as the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority of Zimbabwe battles to raise US$100 000 to avert more deaths. The elephants died at Bumbusi, Mandavu, Masuna, Sinamatella, Robins and Main Camp. The authority's spokesperson Mrs Caroline Washaya-Moyo confirmed the deaths yesterday, saying there was a water shortage in the park.

"This is as a result of the increase in temperatures that has accelerated the rate of evaporation of water from the holding pans. Pressure on the water holes is also increasing owing to an increase in wildlife frequenting the watering points. This has obviously created a situation whereby pumped water is not adequate for game during the late dry season," she said.

Ms Washaya-Moyo said Robins and Sinamatella camps had witnessed an influx of the key wildlife species presumably from neighbouring Botswana. She said the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority was facing serious financial challenges.

"If disaster is to be averted in Hwange National Park, the authority urgently needs to be availed with resources to the tune of US$100 000, an amount the authority is currently unable to raise," she said.

Ms Washaya-Moyo said a meeting with 23 stakeholders was scheduled for tomorrow at Main Camp to solicit for help.

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