A mysterious virus is behind the death of the more than 350 elephants that appeared dead a couple of weeks ago. Botswana, southern Africa informs a group of scientists, who are studying the reason why these deaths occurred.
According to the Daily Mail, experts think a new elephant virus could be behind what they have called a “conservation disaster” amid the global coronavirus pandemic. Some even fear that the pathogen, whose name is not yet known, could spread to humans.
Sampling and Testing
The Director of the National Rescue Park, Dr. Niall McCann, affirmed in an interview with the British media that in case it is confirmed what the studies have shown so far “it is important to rule out the possibility that this (virus) will cross Between people”.
McCann pointed out that while it is true that the death of these animals represents a conservation disaster, “it also has the potential to be a public health crisis”, it is for this reason, and in his opinion, that “the entire environment is sampled: vegetation, water and soil. ”
The doctor further emphasized that parts of the elephant carcasses were sent to Zimbabwe as samples in an attempt to find out exactly what is killing the mammals.
The first unusual deaths were reported in May when 169 elephants died in a short period in the Okavango Delta, a swampy and lush wildlife habitat.
That number had nearly doubled in mid-June, with 70% of deaths occurring around water wells, according to local sources, who noted that, at the time of their death, locals would have seen elephants walking in circles. , suggesting that they have been neurologically affected by a pathogen or a poison.
Dr Cyril Taolo, acting director of the Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks, said: “We are aware of the elephants that are dying. Of the 350 animals we have confirmed 280 of those animals. We are still in the process of confirming the rest. ”
The lack of vultures in the carcasses also caused the inhabitants of the areas where they appeared to suggest that it was a natural phenomenon that was causing death.