Dozens of animals poisoned in game park

2014-08-23 08:05


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Port Elizabeth - Wildlife authorities said on Friday they have found dozens of dead jackals at a popular game park in the country's "worst" ever incident of poisoning.

Game rangers have found over 40 dead animals, mostly jackals, but also mongeese, foxes and crows in the Addo Elephant National Park, and many more are feared dead.

The motive of the killings is not known, but authorities suspect foul play and have launched an investigation to try to find the culprits.

"This is the worst incident of malicious poisoning of animals inside any national park in South Africa," the park's conservation manager John Adendorff told AFP.

"So far we have found 36 jackals, three crows, two yellow mongoose and two bat-eared foxes."

Jackals have in the past been found caught in wire snares amid complaints by local farmers that they prey on their sheep and goats.

"We think there are some people who think jackals don't play any role (in nature)," said Adendorff.

Warders are still scouring the vast 186 000 hectare national park, which is roughly the same size as the tourist Indian Ocean island of Mauritius.

"We believe there are still many more animals lying dead in the national park," which is close to the southern coastal city of Port Elizabeth.

Adendorff said laboratory tests have confirmed that the animals ingested methomyl, a highly toxic pesticide.

Many more animals are expected to die through secondary poisoning.

"If other animals eat the dead carcasses, they will die also," he said, adding that the poison stays in the soil for up to 90 days so could claim more lives.

The loss of the animals is "priceless, it will take long to recover," he said.

Tourists on a game drive were the first to stumble upon a batch of jackal carcasses last week.

Read more on:    animals
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.