Mysterious elephant deaths





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  1. #1
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    Default Mysterious elephant deaths

    Over 100 elephants reported dead in Botswana.
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...dismissed.html

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    Default Re: Mysterious elephant deaths

    SAw this in 'Die Burger' yesterday. True mystery.
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    Default Re: Mysterious elephant deaths

    Maybe something in the water?
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    Default Re: Mysterious elephant deaths

    No problem with the water as other animals drink at the same place and only elephants are dying.

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    Default Re: Mysterious elephant deaths

    Almost certainly anthrax, even though the report says they tested negative. Happens every year when the dry season starts kicking in - it is endemic to that entire region, Etosha etc.
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    Default Re: Mysterious elephant deaths

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    Almost certainly anthrax, even though the report says they tested negative. Happens every year when the dry season starts kicking in - it is endemic to that entire region, Etosha etc.


    Tony won't many other animals in the area then also die? Or do you think other smaller animals dying are simply not noticed because scavengers are able to sort them out quicker than they can elephants?
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    Default Re: Mysterious elephant deaths

    Quote Originally Posted by bigboy529 View Post
    Tony won't many other animals in the area then also die? Or do you think other smaller animals dying are simply not noticed because scavengers are able to sort them out quicker than they can elephants?
    Anthrax affects a wide range of game - elephants, black rhino, giraffe, zebra, lions, gemsbok, jackals, hyenas, eland etc etc - but as you say, smaller game gets scavenged and stripped down fast - elephant carcasses are much more visible because the skin remains, as does much of the skeleton. The research done in Etosha (where anthrax is probably the biggest killer of wildlife) over the past 40 or more years is some of the best in the world, so if you want to find out more, Google "Etosha anthrax".
    It's one of the reasons why you should never, ever handle carcasses in the bush without wearing protective gear - I am always amazed when I see people posing with, for example, wildebeest skulls above their heads. It is zoonotic (as is Covid-19) and can pass from dead animals to humans.
    Last edited by Tony Weaver; 2020/06/03 at 08:09 PM.
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  10. #8
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    Default Re: Mysterious elephant deaths

    Added to what Tony said above, due to the lockdown there will have been less people observing too, thus more likelyhood that smaller carcasses could go un-noticed.
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    Default Re: Mysterious elephant deaths

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    Anthrax affects a wide range of game - elephants, black rhino, giraffe, zebra, lions, gemsbok, jackals, hyenas, eland etc etc - but as you say, smaller game gets scavenged and stripped down fast - elephant carcasses are much more visible because the skin remains, as does much of the skeleton. The research done in Etosha (where anthrax is probably the biggest killer of wildlife) over the past 40 or more years is some of the best in the world, so if you want to find out more, Google "Etosha anthrax".
    It's one of the reasons why you should never, ever handle carcasses in the bush without wearing protective gear - I am always amazed when I see people posing with, for example, wildebeest skulls above their heads. It is zoonotic (as is Covid-19) and can pass from dead animals to humans.
    Anthrax could also be considred as an indicator of population (over) pressure on natural resources, especially water.
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    Default Re: Mysterious elephant deaths

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    Anthrax affects a wide range of game - elephants, black rhino, giraffe, zebra, lions, gemsbok, jackals, hyenas, eland etc etc - but as you say, smaller game gets scavenged and stripped down fast - elephant carcasses are much more visible because the skin remains, as does much of the skeleton. The research done in Etosha (where anthrax is probably the biggest killer of wildlife) over the past 40 or more years is some of the best in the world, so if you want to find out more, Google "Etosha anthrax".
    It's one of the reasons why you should never, ever handle carcasses in the bush without wearing protective gear - I am always amazed when I see people posing with, for example, wildebeest skulls above their heads. It is zoonotic (as is Covid-19) and can pass from dead animals to humans.


    Thanks Tony, I like to learn something new every day.
    For others interested, a start https://www.anipedia.org/resources/anthrax/1203
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