Authorities in Zimbabwe say ,more than 80 elephants have been killed for their ivory by poachers.
Police said on Tuesday that the syndicate, led by a South African businessman, mixed up a combination of cyanide, salt and water and poured the cocktail in about 35 salt licks at watering holes known to be frequented by elephants in Hwange National Park ,the country’s largest national park.
At other watering holes the poachers would dig holes and place containers containing the deadly mixture into the holes.Elephants who drank the poisoned water were found dead with no tusks.
Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi confirmed the toll on Tuesday after touring Hwange National Park. Other small animals which drunk the water died as well.
The elephant death toll includes more than 40 elephants discovered following a poisoning incident in the 4,650-sq km (1,795-square mile) national park earlier this month.
The problem of poaching has been intensified recently by the lucrative Asian Ivory trade.
Nine alleged poachers were arrested following the tragic incident .Rangers tracked them to a cache of ivory hidden in the park.