Officials in Zimbabwe are investigating the death of 11 elephants in the African nation as they say the creatures died under mysterious circumstances.
The carcasses of nearly a dozen elephants were discovered Friday in Pandamasue Forest, located between Hwange National Park and Victoria Falls. Experts and officials have ruled out cyanide poisoning and poaching as a cause of death.
“We can only ascertain the cause of death after the tests. But we have ruled out cyanide poisoning,” Tinashe Farawo, a spokesman for the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority said in a statement to The Guardian. “Only elephants were affected. No vultures or any other animals were affected.”
Blood samples from the animals were taken for testing.
The mysterious deaths of the elephants comes as Botswana recently saw similar strange elephant deaths. Officials in that country are still investigating the cause of death.
It is unclear if the deaths of the elephants in both countries are linked or have perished due to similar circumstances.
Zimbabwe has the world's second largest elephant population, estimated at 85,000, behind Botswana, which has 156,000.