Hwange elephant death mystery solved

Top Stories Zimbabwe

ZTN Correspondent

Investigations into the mysterious death of more than 20 elephants at Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park point to a disease called hemorrhagic septic-aemia.

Hemorrhagic septicaemia is a contagious bacterial disease which affects cattle and water buffaloes with a high mortality rate in infected animals.

The bacteria are known as Pasteurella multocida type B.

This was revealed by Parks and Wildlife Management Authority of Zimbabwe Director-General Fulton Mangwanya while giving oral evidence in Parliament on Monday.

He said, “The results, to date, point to cause of elephant deaths in Zimbabwe being a disease known as hemorrhagic septic-aemia.

“It has been reported to kill Asian elephants in India.  It also affects cattle, pigs and chicken in Southern Africa, in which species it can cause massive mortalities.”

In 2015, the disease claimed over 200 000 saiga antelopes in Kazakhstan.