90 elephants found dead in Botswana

ElephantsElephants drink water in the Chobe National Park in Botswana. A conservation group says elephant poaching has increased in Botswana, which has long been viewed as a rare refuge for elephants in Africa. (AP Photo/Charmaine Noronha, File)

90 elephants were found dead in Botswana, all of them with their tusks cut off said the organization, ‘Elephants Without Borders.’

 

It is believed to be one of the worst cases of mass-killing in Africa according to the organization.

“Every day we count more dead elephants,” said Mike Chase,director of the organization. Elephants Without Borders and the country’s wilderness and national park authorities have collaborated on the census since the 10th of July.

The animals were shot at water sources near a popular wilderness reserve in the Okavango Delta by use of large caliber rifles.

Mike Chase announced that the poaching and shootings coincided with the destruction of the country’s wilderness squad earlier in the year. Botswana had up to the the time of the amendment, a zero tolerance policy for poaching, where poachers were shot to kill.

Botswana has over 135,000 elephants, one of Africa’s largest populations.

The number of African elephants has fallen by 111,000 to 415,000 in the past decade, according to the World Wildlife Conservation Union (IUCN). Approximately 30,000 animals are shot by poachers every year.The animals are killed for their ivory, which is sold in Asia, where it is worth approximately NOK 8,400 per kilogram.

Elephant populations in Zambia and Angola, located north of Botswana, have been reduced to “near local extinction”,and the scouts have now turned their eyes on Botswana according to Chase.

Botswana’s Tourism Minister, Tshekedi Khama, confirmed that many elephants have become victims of poachers, but had no further details.

 

© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today

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