More than 100 elephants die in Botswana in suspected anthrax outbreak

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More than 100 elephants have died in Botswana in the past two months partly because of a suspected anthrax outbreak, the government said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: The marked carcass of an elephant is seen, after reports that conservationists have discovered 87 of them slaughtered just in the last few months, in the Mababe area, Botswana, September 19, 2018. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

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GABORONE: More than 100 elephants have died in Botswana in the past two months partly because of a suspected anthrax outbreak, the government said on Tuesday.

"Preliminary investigations suggest the elephants are dying from anthrax whilst some died from drought effects," a Department of Wildlife and National Parks statement said.

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"Due to the severe drought, elephants end up ingesting soil while grazing and get exposed to the anthrax bacteria spore," it said.

Elephants Without Borders said an aerial survey showed fresh elephant carcasses increased by 593per cent between 2014 to 2018, mostly from poaching and illegal hunting, with drought also a contributing factor.

The wildlife authority said the latest deaths were in the Chobe River front and Nantanga areas in northern Botswana, where 14 dead elephants were found this week. It said it would be burning the carcasses to prevent the anthrax infection from spreading to other animals.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, anthrax is a bacteria found naturally in soil and commonly affecRead More – Source