Harare — Zimbabwean authorities have initiated investigations following the discovery of seven elephants allegedly killed by poachers northwest of the country.
Rangers from the Zimbabwe National Parks (Zimparks) have found carcasses of the giant animals at the country's largest national park - Hwange National Park near the border with Botswana.
A case of cyanide poisoning has been opened.
"It is suspected that the elephants may have been poisoned with cyanide. They were in an advanced state of decomposition," said a Zimparks spokesman.
Officers from the Environmental Management Authority are assisting investigations.
Poaching is rife in national parks such as Hwange, Gonarezhou, Save Conservancy and the Zambezi Valley.
The facilities are home to over 84 500 elephants.
Apart from targeting elephants, the poachers are also illegally harvesting fish, birds and other wildlife, including rhino poaching.