Ninety dead elephants have been found in Botswana recently, most large bulls whose tusks have been removed. Botswana has historically had a zero-tolerance approach to poaching, which has served its wildlife well. The country has the largest elephant population in Africa, reaching numbers of more than 135,000. But earlier this year Botswana’s park rangers were made to turn in their arms. Now’s that’s got some questioning the correlation with the rise in poaching.
Mike Chase, the director of Elephants Without Borders, worked with Botswana’s Department of Wildlife and National Parks to conduct aerial surveys that found the pachyderm carcasses. Chase said: “We started flying the survey on 10 July, and we have counted 90 elephant carcasses since the survey commenced. Each day, we are counting dead elephants. The scale of elephant poaching is by far the largest I have seen or read about in Africa to date,” he added.
According to The Guardian, the elephants were killed from heavy-caliber rifles at watering spots in the Okavango Delta close to a wildlife sanctuary.