200 elephants have since died in Hwange National Park alone since October, Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesman Tinashe Farawo confirms.
“Other parks are also affected, as are other animals including giraffes, buffalos and impalas, but the situation can only improve once the rains return,” he said.
The Zimbabwean government declared a national emergency after the October rains it was counting on never emerged, leaving behind parched land, and farmers unable to harvest crops.
“Of course, elephants are easily noticed during patrols or game drives, but some bird species are seriously affected because they can only breed in certain tree heights and those trees are being knocked down by elephants.”
Watering holes previously full of water remain nearly empty, with elephant and buffalo carcasses becoming commonplace as they get stuck in clay trying to reach the small pools of water left.