GABORONE, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- Botswana's Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) is investigating the deaths of at least 50 vultures due to suspected poisoning in the Chobe district in northern Botswana.
"The poisoning is suspected to have been caused by a deliberate lacing of a poached buffalo carcass with a poisonous chemical that resulted in the death of the vultures," said Kabelo Senyatso, Director of DWNP in a statement issued on Friday.
Senyatso said that the poisoning of these vultures posed a serious threat to their survival in Botswana and that such poisoning events should concern all citizens given the important roles that vultures play in everyday lives, such as removing diseased carcasses and reducing the risk of livestock disease transmissions, such as rabies, foot and mouth disease, anthrax, and other diseases that can cause significant economic harm.
The wildlife department warned the public to refrain from such actions and to help disseminate information for the conservation of these animals, as it is against Botswana law to kill animals with poisonous substances. Meanwhile, the DWNP research division and law enforcement are decontaminating the affected areas. ■