A hundred elephants have perished in Africa’s devastating drought, and officials are predicting that more may perish in the southern African country, where Hwange National Park is located. Owing to projections indicating a lack of precipitation and increasing temperatures, many more elephants will be in mortal peril.
This is a catastrophe for elephants and other animals, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
The biggest national park in Zimbabwe is also home to over 400 species of birds and over 100 different kinds of animals, including 45,000 elephants. The 104 solar-powered boreholes ensure that the animals always have access to water. Park officials, however, claim that neither the supply nor the quality of boreholes is enough to combat the severe heat that is eroding existing waterholes and driving animals to travel great distances in quest of water and food.
Elephant mortality rates are rising as a result of El Nino and other climate change-related weather events. Areas of the Pacific Ocean rise in temperature during El Nino, a normal and repeating phenomenon that influences global weather patterns. El Nino this year has already caused devastating floods in East Africa, and southern Africa should anticipate less rain than usual as a result.
Historically, October is the beginning of Zimbabwe’s wet season, which would continue consistently until March. On the other hand, droughts have become increasingly frequent and severe in recent years, and environmentalists have noted this trend. Every day, an average-sized elephant has to drink over 200 liters of water, and the oldest female elephants might travel hundreds of kilometers to provide water to their herd.
The El Niño weather pattern, which leads to drier-than-normal conditions in southern Africa, thereby making water more scarce than usual, is blamed by experts for the lack of rainfall. Climate change has been dwindling vital supplies for animals globally in recent years, and these dry circumstances might be a knock-on consequence of that.
These ongoing fatalities might have a disastrous effect on the population of African elephants, which is an endangered species.