Daily Express

Cli­mate link to bug killing off ele­phants

- By John Ingham Climate Change · Disasters · Ecology · Botswana · National Park Service · Africa

HUN­DREDS of ele­phants that died mys­te­ri­ously were killed by nat­u­ral tox­ins in delta wa­ter, in­ves­ti­ga­tors said.

And cli­mate change could make these al­gal blooms more com­mon, pos­ing a long- term threat to wildlife.

About 330 ele­phants have been found dead in Botswana’s Oka­vango Delta since May, with the vast ma­jor­ity near wa­ter­ing holes.

Yet only ele­phants seemed to be af­fected in the wildlife- rich wilder­ness. The Depart­ment of Wildlife and Na­tional Parks head vet Mmadi Reuben said: “Tests have de­tected cyanobac­te­rial neu­ro­tox­ins to be the cause of deaths.”

Cyanobac­te­ria are mi­cro­scopic or­gan­isms com­mon in wa­ter and some­times found in soil.

Not all pro­duce tox­ins but those that do are be­ing found more of­ten as cli­mate change makes the world hot­ter.

South­ern Africa’s tem­per­a­tures are ris­ing at twice the global av­er­age say cli­mate change ex­perts.

Ele­phants may have been so hard hit be­cause they drink such large vol­umes and im­merse them­selves in the wa­ter­ing holes.

African ele­phants have fallen from about 10 mil­lion in the 1930s to around 400,000 to­day.

 ?? Pic­tures: GETTY, DEREK HARPER( CC- BY- SA/ 2.0 ??
Pic­tures: GETTY, DEREK HARPER( CC- BY- SA/ 2.0
 ??  ?? Wa­ter­ing hole... one vic­tim lies dead at the edge
Wa­ter­ing hole... one vic­tim lies dead at the edge

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