Elephants are starving to death at Mana Pools National Park- one of the popular game parks of drought-hit Zimbabwe, latest reports say.
“Lack of proper rainfall has dried up almost all the water bodies in the Mana Pools National Park,” says a media report.
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Al least 55 elephants have died in the park in the past two months, reports say.
“These animals have nothing to eat and even don’t have adequate water to drink. This is unbelievable,” says news reports.
Operations have been launched to rescue these animals, especially the calves as herds are fracturing as parents try to protect them.
Volunteers over the past few weeks have delivered around 9,000 bales of hay to the game park on the back of 30-tonne trucks.
“The rescue operations will continue till the rains arrive, which is still around eight weeks away,” reported IANS quoting a volunteer.
Not just elephants, even lions are starving in Hwange National Park located to the west of the country.
This is the worst drought in years in Zimbabwe, which is also suffering from a collapsing economy.
“The problem is real, the situation is dire,” reported The Guardian quoting National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesman Tinashe Farawo.
With no food to eat in its habitat, elephants often stray into the human habitat areas destroying crops and sometimes even killing people.
“Over 20 people have been killed this year alone,” Tinashe Farawo added.
Zimbabwe has the largest elephant population in Africa and their deaths due to starvation are hurting the animal conservationists.
“Poaching was a threat to these animals and in the past several years, hundreds of elephants were poached,” reported The Guardian quoting Farawo.
However, Farawo says the death of elephants due to starvation is even more painful than their death due to poaching.
“We can identify and nab the poacher. But dry spells due to climate change is something we hardly can do anything about,” he says.
If this has happened in Zimbabwe, this will happen in other countries as well.
Climate change is real and we may still have some time to save ourselves if we act now with proper plannings.
The human race will cease to exist if the wildlife vanishes.