At least 100 elephants have died in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park in recent weeks due to drought. Authorities and conservation groups believe that the cause of these deaths is the impact of climate change and the El Nino weather phenomenon. The situation is expected to get worse, and authorities fear that more elephants and other animals could die if the shortage of rainfall and rising heat in Zimbabwe continue. El Nino is also causing below-average rainfall across southern Africa, and forecasts suggest a dry, hot summer ahead. In previous years, the region’s rainy season started in October and ran through March, but it has become erratic in recent years.
The drought has caused severe water shortages, forcing animals, particularly young, elderly, and sick elephants, to struggle to find water. The park rangers have been pumping water into Hwange’s waterholes to help the animals survive. Conservationists stress the importance of saving elephants, as they play a crucial role in fighting climate change by dispersing vegetation and reforestation. They believe that elephants are better than humans in reforestation and helping forests to spread and flourish. The conservation groups have warned that the loss of elephants can have a significant impact on the ecosystem and climate change.