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Monday, March 4, 2024

Africa. Drought in Zimbabwe. Animals die of thirst. “We have experienced the effects of climate change”

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A tragic fate befalls animals living in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. The severe drought caused a decrease in groundwater, from which water for watering holes is drawn. Ecologists report that several dozen elephants died.

No river flows through Hwange National Park in western Zimbabwe, so the animals living there must rely only on ponds from which water is drawn to waterholes in the ground. However, the drought led to lower groundwater levels. Currently, it is not possible to obtain water to fill over 100 watering holes.

The population of elephants in the local park reaches 45,000, and an adult individual drinks 200 liters of water a day.

Dead elephants at waterholes

Dozens of dead animals can be seen near waterholes, others died in the bush, becoming food for scavengers – described Reuters. Conservationists fear even more elephants will die.

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As emphasized by the chief ecologist of Hwange National Park, Daphine Madhlamoto, animals are forced to travel long distances in search of water, and several herds of elephants have crossed into neighboring Botswana.

There is less rain

“We have experienced the effects of climate change in the park,” Madhlamoto said. She noted that recent rainfall has been lower than usual.

The rainy season in Zimbabwe runs from November to March, but this year the rain was rare and short. Meteorologists predict that the drought will continue for the next months.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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