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Water shortage drives elephant migration from Zimbabwe

By AFP
September 19, 2023

HARARE: Large numbers of elephants from Zimbabwe´s biggest national park are moving to neighbouring Botswana in a search for water, a spokesman said on Monday.

“Many animals have and are moving from Hwange National Park into Botswana” Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesman Tinashe Farawo told AFP. Hwange National Park covers an area of more than 14,600 square kilometres and is home to about 50,000 elephants.

“Water bodies have dried up and the animals are in search for water and food,” the spokesman said, adding that buffaloes and “all types of animals present in the park” were also migrating in scores.

“I can´t quantify how many elephants have moved whether its hundreds or thousands but it has been a lot,” he said of the migration which began in August. “The amount of animals migrating has definitely increased over the years due to the increase in water shortages,” Farawo added.

The authority said wildlife migration between Hwange National Park to Botswana is not uncommon, however this year it had come “too early”, citing climate change. The mass movement of wild animals could lead to an increase in conflict between humans and wildlife as they pass through populated areas in Zimbabwe.