Botswana: Elephant Mortality Linked to Cyanobacteria


Gaborone — Findings on the mortality of 330 elephants around Seronga area between April and July are linked to cyanobacteria, Department of Wildlife and National Parks' Dr Reuben Mmatli has said.

Giving an update during a press briefing in Gaborone on September 21, Dr Mmatli said the bacteria only affected elephants and shockingly not animals and vultures which consumed carcasses or drank water from the same ponds.

The elephants showed neurological symptoms and eventually died after drinking water from ponds in the area, explained the principal veterinary officer.

Dr Mmatli said the pathological evaluations did not pick any significant finding related to the infectious cause of the elephant deaths.

Further investigations, he said, were being conducted to determine how to best deal with the disease in future as well as to find better ways of controlling it.

Another speaker, the department's deputy director Dr Cyril Taolo ruled out human involvement in the mortality of elephants, anthrax possibility as well as poaching.

He said the cause of the mysterious deaths was established through investigation of water, blood, soil and elephant carcass samples which were sent to Canada, South Africa, US and Zimbabwe for further investigations.

Source : BOPA

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