More than 50 elephants die of hunger in Zimbabwe

A picture taken on February 23, 2012 shows elephants killed by poachers at the Bouba Ndjidda National Park in northern Cameroon, near the border with Chad. Clashes between Cameroonian troops and ivory poachers in the northern Bouba Ndjidda reserve have killed a soldier and a smuggler and left four wounded, local officials said on March 8, 2012. "These past few days, there was fighting between our soldiers and smugglers at Bouba Ndjidda," said a regional administrative official close to the case, who asked not to be named. AFP PHOTO / STRINGER

A total of 55 elephants have died of hunger and thirst at Zimbabwe’s biggest game reserve in the last two months, the state-owned broadcaster has reported.

Drought, caused by climate change, had led to shortage of food and water at the Hwange National Park, it quoted a wildlife official as saying.

Some carcasses were found within 50 metres (164ft) of water pans, suggesting that the elephants had walked long distances and had died just before reaching them, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) reported