Harare: At least 100 elephants have died in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe’s largest game reserve, from the El Nino-induced drought, an international animal welfare and conservation group said.
Summer rains are five weeks late due to the ongoing El Nino phenomenon, as dozens of elephants have already died in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe’s largest protected area, home to about 45,000 elephants, said the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in a statement.
“At least 100 elephants are already reported dead due to lack of water,” Xinhua news agency quoted IFAW as saying.
The organization said the 104 solar-powered boreholes in the park were inadequate to match extreme temperatures that are drying up existing waterholes, forcing wildlife to walk long distances in search of food and water.
Water-dependent mammals like elephants are among the most affected and these and other wildlife species will face a crisis if rains do not come soon, IFAW said.
In 2019, over 200 elephants died in Zimbabwe from severe drought, and according to IFAW, the phenomenon is recurring.
IFAW said the deaths of elephants in Zimbabwe must be seen as a symptom of deep-seated and complex challenges affecting the region’s natural resources conservation, aggravated by climate change.