Nine elephants accidentally electrocuted in Botswana

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 September, 2017, 10:21am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 September, 2017, 10:21am

Nine elephants were electrocuted in central Botswana in a freak accident near the village of Dukwi.

The elephants died after they knocked down overhead power lines while jostling to drink water from a leaking pipe supplying water to villagers, said the director of Wildlife and National Parks, Otisitswe Tiroyamodimo.

“Investigations are still at a preliminary stage, but what we have discovered so far is that the elephants were helping themselves to water from a damaged supply pipe. The elephants were electrocuted when they knocked down power lines, which fell into the gushing pool of water,” he said.

Botswana has an elephant population of between 150,000 and 200,000, depending on the migration season. Elephants normally live in the wild but often move near human settlements in search of water, in Botswana, a generally arid country.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has said the number of African elephants has fallen by around 111,000 to 415,000 in the past decade, the worst drop in 25 years.

And the killing continues at a dizzying pace of about 30,000 elephants a year.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse