Harare – The Zimbabwean wildlife authorities have found more carcasses of elephants, bringing the total number to 22.
According to authorities, the elephants died of a suspected bacteria infection.
Most of the dead elephants were young with the oldest aged 18 years.
The elephants, which had their tusks intact, had died in similar circumstances to those first discovered last week.
“We suspect it is the same causes as the first group and we are also looking at taking samples to other independent laboratories so that we can broaden our investigations,” said Zimparks spokesman Tinashe Farawo.
The authorities suspect that the young elephants may have eaten poisonous vegetation.
They said there had been scarcity of food and the young elephants were unable to reach higher tree branches.
Zimparks officials say the biggest threat to Zimbabwe’s elephant herd is overpopulation and that lower rainfall this year could again leave the animals facing starvation after at least 200 died in 2019 from a lack of water and food.
Zimbabwe is home to some 80 000 elephants, around a fifth of Africa’s total conservationists estimate.