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Elephant deaths trigger Kenyan call for Tanzania to curb hunts

Elephant deaths trigger Kenyan call for Tanzania to curb hunts

IN the rolling grasslands of the Amboseli Wildlife Park, conservationists fret about an emerging threat to Kenyan elephants that are crucial to its tourism business: licensed hunters across the border in Tanzania. The two East African neighbours manage elephant herds differently. Tanzania issues some trophy hunting licences to wealthy sport hunters every year, while Kenya gets all its revenue from wildlife safaris. Tanzania's way of supervising elephant herds is aligned with many southern African nations like Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa, while Kenya's zero tolerance of wildlife hunting or sale of ivory mirrors that of Gabon. Conservationists and Kenyan…
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Zimbabwe plans to send dead elephants’ brain tissue to U.S. for toxin tests

Zimbabwe plans to send dead elephants’ brain tissue to U.S. for toxin tests

ZIMBABWE plans to send brain tissue samples from dead elephants to the United States to test for toxic micro-organisms blamed for hundreds of elephant deaths in neighbouring Botswana, the parks authority said. Thirty-four elephants have died in western Zimbabwe since August 24, Parks and Wildlife Management Authority director general Fulton Mangwanya told a parliamentary committee in a statement on Monday. Botswana blamed toxins produced by cyanobacteria for the deaths of 330 elephants this year. Sometimes called blue-green algae, cyanobacteria are microscopic organisms that are common in water and can produce toxins that damage the liver or nervous system of animals…
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Botswana says toxins in water cause of mysterious elephant deaths

Botswana says toxins in water cause of mysterious elephant deaths

THE deaths of hundreds of elephants in Botswana this year which had baffled and alarmed conservationists were caused by toxins produced by cyanobacteria in water, officials said on Monday. Cyril Taolo, deputy director of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, told a news conference that the number of dead elephants had risen to 330, from 281 last reported in July. The department's principal veterinary officer Mmadi Reuben told the same conference that there were, however, still many unanswered questions. "Our latest tests have detected cyanobacterial neurotoxins to be the cause of deaths. These are bacteria found in water," Reuben…
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Zimbabwe finds more elephant carcasses, death toll at 22

Zimbabwe finds more elephant carcasses, death toll at 22

ZIMBABWE’S wildlife agency has discovered more elephant carcasses near a major game park, bringing the number of dead animals suspected to have been killed by a bacterial infection to 22, double the initial figure. The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) has already ruled out poaching and cyanide poisoning for the death of elephants in Pandamasuwe Forest in western Zimbabwe, between the largest wildlife sanctuary Hwange National Park and Victoria Falls. Zimparks spokesman Tinashe Farawo said the latest elephant carcasses were found on Tuesday and Wednesday. Most of the animals were young, with the oldest being 18 years. The…
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Zimbabwe suspects elephants died from bacterial infection

Zimbabwe suspects elephants died from bacterial infection

Eleven young elephants found dead near Zimbabwe’s biggest game park may have succumbed to a bacterial infection, the country’s parks agency said on Tuesday, after it ruled out poaching and cyanide poisoning. The elephant carcasses were discovered last Friday in Pandamasuwe Forest in western Zimbabwe, between Hwange National Park and Victoria Falls. The mysterious deaths came after Botswana reported the death of more than 200 elephants in June. Columbus Chaitezvi, principal veterinary officer at the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) said that, following preliminary tests, the agency suspected the elephants could have contracted a deadly bacterial infection while…
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Botswana says natural toxin could be behind elephant deaths

Botswana says natural toxin could be behind elephant deaths

BRIAN BENZA PRELIMINARY tests to explain the reason for hundreds of mysterious elephant deaths in Botswana point to a naturally occurring toxin as a probable cause, a senior wildlife official told Reuters. It was highly unlikely that an infectious disease was behind the shocking deaths of at least 281 elephants, added Cyril Taolo, acting director of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks. Officials had been struggling to establish the cause of death more than two months after the first carcasses were spotted in the Okavango Panhandle region. Initial investigations appeared to rule out common causes like poaching and anthrax.…
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