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Cyanobacteria Cause Elephant Death in Botswana

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In the African country of Botswana, where there are more than 12,000 elephants, about 350 elephants have been found dead during this short period.

However, the cause of death was not known even after several tests, raising concerns in the area. In May, the government ruled out the possibility of elephant poaching as the horns had not been removed from the elephants. However, the Botswana government said at the time that the secret behind the deaths would be revealed only after detailed lab tests.

The Botswana government's forest department has confirmed the end of the mystery.

Horn hunters usually kill the wild animals with cyanide. If the hunters had put in cyanide, the other creatures would have been killed. However, only the bodies of elephants were found here. It was also notable at the time that most of these elephants had fallen face down.

Cyanobacteria, one of the most naturally occurring toxins in local waters, have been linked to the deaths. These toxic substances, found in water, grow into blue and green algae. chief veterinary officer of the Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks confirmed this

Since all the elephants were lying dead in the vicinity of the water bodies, a detailed investigation was carried out around them. Ruben also explained why only elephants die.

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While other animals lick and drink water from the surface, elephants draw their trunks deep into the water. In doing so, elephants are more likely to ingest these cyanobacterial algae than other animals. He said the reservoirs would be monitored regularly to ensure that such toxins were removed in a timely manner and such unfortunate deaths were avoided.

© 2020 Ryan reighman

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