WATCH: Botswana govt rubbishes elephant poaching reports
Botswana has rubbished reports that nearly 100 elephants were killed by poachers in recent weeks, saying the claims were "unsubstantiated and sensationalist media reports".
See statement below
"At no point in the last months or recently were 87 or 90 elephants killed in one incident in any place in Botswana," Botswana's government said in a statement posted on Twitter.
During the period of July 5 to August 1 only 58 elephant carcasses were officially reported to the government which, upon further investigation, found that most of those elephants had died due to natural causes, permanent secretary Thato Raphaka said.
The government further denied the withdrawal of weapons to the Department of Wildlife and National Parks has had any effect on the "effectiveness and operations" of their anti-poaching units.
Botswana's government reiterated that its "wildlife remains a national heritage and our citizens will protect it at all costs.”
* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER