An unknown disease attacks elephants, hundreds of animals die. Canada, Africa and Zimbabwe are testing

Botswana is under investigation into the “completely unprecedented” deaths of hundreds of elephants since May.

No one knows what’s causing the death of elephants, home to a third of Africa’s elephant population. The country’s government announced that three laboratories – in Canada, South Africa and Zimbabwe – had been asked to examine samples taken from the dead elephants.

A report by the Elephants Without Borders (EWB) organization, cited by Reuters, states that elephants of all ages are dying. The gruesome situation was first observed at the beginning of May and the government was immediately informed. During the 3-hour helicopter journey, 169 dead animals were counted. A month later, that number exceeded 350.

The Botswana government has ruled out poaching as the cause of the animals’ deaths because the elephants’ tusks were not removed. Dr. Niall McCann from the British organization National Park Rescue said that he had also preliminarily ruled out anthrax poisoning, which killed at least 100 elephants in Botswana last year. The researcher assumes that the elephants have something that attacks their neurological system. They often die by falling on their faces, and before that they can walk in circles for hours.

Scientists, not knowing the cause of elephant death, are taking every precaution to ensure that the disease does not spread to the human population – especially if its source is water or soil.

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