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Hundreds of elephants in Botswana are dying and the cause is still a mystery

Botswana Elections
(AP Photo/Charmaine Noronha/File)

WARNING: The following article might be sad or triggering for animal lovers.

If you thought 2019 was bad, 2020 said, “hold my beer!” and has certainly brought a wide variety of tragedy and challenges.

Currently, there is a giant mystery in Botswana. Hundreds of elephants have been found dead, and the cause continues to be a mystery. As of today the death toll stands are around 400, with elephants of all ages and sexes reported.

The deaths began in March, but have significantly increased in the last two months. Experts don’t know much about what is causing these deaths, but they do know a few things. So far, some of the elephants have been discovered laying on their knees and faces (rather than on their side), suggesting sudden death. And some have even reported the elephants looking disoriented and even walking in circles before their death.

Immediately, people thought poachers but since the tusks of the elephants remain, traditional foul play has been essentially ruled out. But now what? Poisoning? If so, animals share water holes and there might be an uptick in deaths surrounding other animal groups. Natural causes?

The information currently available is inconclusive, and to prevent further deaths investigations are ongoing and laboratories have been identified to process samples taken from the carcasses of dead elephants.