Hundreds of elephants starve to death in Zimbabwe

At least 200 elephants have died due to a lack of food and water as a result of severe drought, the authorities in Zimbabwe say.

Last month they said 55 had died.

In an effort to prevent more elephants dying, a spokesman for Zimbabwe’s Parks and Wildlife Management Authority said there were plans to move 600 elephants from the Save Valley Conservancy in the south-east of the country to three other national parks.

He said until the rains came there would be more deaths due to loss of habitat caused by the severe drought.

Giraffes, lions, buffaloes and antelopes will also be moved in what the authorities describe as the biggest relocation in the country’s history.

Zimbabwe is thought to be home to 80,000 elephants – around a fifth of Africa’s total. Park officials say the environment cannot support that number and they have recently flown dozens of elephants to China – a move criticised by animal welfare groups.