Botswana is investigating the deaths of eleven elephants in the Moremi Game Reserve, months after hundreds of elephants died from eating toxic microorganisms.
The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism ruled out poaching as the tusks of the elephants were found intact. “A team has been deployed into the area to undertake aerial surveys and sample the carcasses,” the environment ministry said.
The Moremi reserve lies about 100 kilometers east of Seronga, where last year’s deaths were reported. In May, 330 elephants were found dead in the Okavango Panhandle region.
The government was under huge pressure from conservationists to find out what had killed the animals. In September, it released a report that pointed to toxic microorganisms called cyanobacteria as the cause of death.
Not all cyanobacteria are toxic, but scientists say the poisonous ones are occurring more frequently as climate change drives up global temperatures.
Officials still don’t know why only elephants were affected by the toxins in the water.