• Jose Salazar

Zimbabwean wildlife suffering during extreme drought

55 elephants have starved since September in Zimbabwe’s biggest national park as they face its worst drought in recent years, officials said Monday. The remains of the elephants were found near watering holes in the Hwange National Park, Zimparks spokesman Tinashe Farawo told Reuters.

Lack of food and water have caused the animals to travel great distances in search of something to eat or drink, according to Farawo.

“The situation is dire” Farawo said. “The elephants are dying from starvation this is a big problem” he added. Not only are elephants being affected, but also the lions at the park: “The hungry and thirsty animals sometimes wander into villages, causing 'massive destruction' to vegetation and have even killed people,” Farawo said.

About 20 people have been killed this year by lions.

The park has been trying to drill more wells to make up for the ones that have dried up, but does not have enough money to do so, according to Reuters. One way they could earn revenue would be to sell their $300 million ivory stockpile.

The drought comes as the southern African nation faces troubles from a collapsing economy that has resulted in massive food and water shortage to its population.