Mysterious elephant deaths in Coimbatore: A Botswana in the making?

Elephant, deaths, Botswana, Coimbatore
Following reports about the mass elephant deaths in Botswana, conservationists in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore are worried if a similar bacteria is causing elephant deaths here.

In May and June this year, one after another more than 350 elephants dropped dead in the Okavango Delta in Botswana, a small landlocked country bordering South Africa. If that wasn't shocking enough, the fact that some of them appeared to have collapsed to death all of a sudden while “walking or running” added to the mystery behind the mass deaths.

Also, all the bodies had their tusks intact and had no bullet holes ruling out the involvement of ivory poachers.

There was almost nothing that could explain the possible reason behind the flummoxing deaths even as carcasses were found clustered around waterholes. Some of them appeared to have died "falling flat on their faces," news reports from the time quoted Niall McCann, director of conservation at United Kingdom charity National Park Rescue, as saying.

About three months later, on September 21, officials revealed the reason behind the mysterious deaths — a kind of bacteria called cyanobacteria found in contaminated water.

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