Elephants and buffalo from Hwange Park, Zimbabwe’s largest national park, are flocking to neighboring Botswana. The reason for the mass migration is a lack of water, the Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management Authority said on Monday. It is not uncommon for the animals to move to other places, but this year the migration is particularly early, according to spokesperson Tinashe Farawo. Due to a lack of rain, natural waterholes are now dry earlier in the year than normal.
The Hwange Park, in the west of the country, covers about 14,600 square kilometers. About 50,000 pachyderms, or pachyderms, find shelter there. Now some of them are on their way to Botswana. “I cannot give an exact number, it could be hundreds or thousands, certainly a lot,” says Farawo.
“The animals are looking for water and food. It is not just about elephants and buffalos, but about different species from the park,” the spokesperson added. He fears that the mass movement of wild animals could provoke new confrontations with humans. “More animals will enter communities and people will compete with them for water,” it said. Last year, sixty people in Zimbabwe were killed by elephants.
About 100,000 elephants live in Zimbabwe. Neighboring Botswana has the largest number of elephants in the world, with 130,000 pachyderms. A group of experts from the IPCC climate panel has classified southern Africa as a region at risk of extreme heat and less precipitation due to global warming.