Zimbabwe heat wave kills 77 elephants

2011-11-23 20:57

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Harare - Wildlife authorities say at least 77 elephants have died in a three-month heat wave in western Zimbabwe that has dried up watering holes.

The state Parks and Wildlife Authority said in a Wednesday statement that rangers in the Hwange National Park have counted 18 calves and 21 adolescent elephants among the dead animals.

In a heat wave since September, Zimbabwe's biggest nature preserve has seen temperatures soar to above 40°C, far higher than annual averages.

The statement says scarce funding has hindered efforts to repair man-made watering holes that have broken down. Independent conservationists say the death toll of elephants, buffalo, zebra and antelope species could be larger in many inaccessible areas of the park.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  conservation  |  animals

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