Story by Tichaona Kurewa
Six elephants were recently found dead in a forest near Victoria Falls, with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority currently conducting investigations to ascertain the cause of death.
Zimparks spokesperson Tinashe Farawo said, “We can confirm the death of six elephants in a forest near Victoria Falls. When the carcasses were found, the ivory was intact. We are investing the cause of the death of these elephants. We are ruling out poaching, but we suspect that they could have been struck by lightning.”
He, however, said the six jumbos include four adults and two calves.
Last year during the same period, seven elephants were also found dead in Ngamo Forests between Hwange and Victoria Falls.
Zimbabwe has the world’s second-largest population of elephants estimated at around 85 000 with wildlife being a major draw card for tourists.
Southern African countries have in the recent past raised concern over the increase in elephant population which poses a threat to the habitat, urging the international community to lift the ban imposed on the trade of ivory.
The pending results of the Kavango Zambezi (KAZA) Elephant Aerial Survey are expected to give tangible evidence to the calls by Southern African countries.
In 2019, a total of 200 elephants succumbed to drought in the country’s largest game reserve, the Hwange National Park.