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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Water relief for 8,000 thirsty elephants neglected by Zimbabwe.

Drought-inducing El Niño settled over southern Africa in 2016, leaving the animals of Hwange national park in Zimbabwe faced desperate water shortages. During a heatwave in October, conservation worker Prince Sansole spotted an elephant partially submerged in a muddy pool. His movements initially looked no different from the water games routinely played by the giant creatures. Only a closer look revealed that the young bull was in trouble, struggling to get up. His limp trunk kept dropping back into the water, unable to catch a fresh breath. A postmortem later revealed that the elephant had succumbed to heat stroke on arrival at Chamabonda waterhole, after days of searching in vain for water amid the heat and sand.But thanks to an emergency effort by a local conservation group, water is now reaching at least 8,000 elephants and up to 10,000 other animals. Alerted by the predictions of drought, the Victoria Falls-based Bhejane Trust started drilling and setting up solar-powered boreholes in the park in May last year.continue