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4 Elephants Die of Poachers' Cyanide Poisoning in Zimbabwe

  • Associated Press

FILE - a game ranger stands next to a rotting elephant carcass poisoned by poachers with cyanide in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, Sept. 29, 2013.

Four elephants have died from cyanide poisoning in Zimbabwe as poachers take advantage of a dry spell to contaminate remaining water sources.

Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesman Tinashe Farawo says rangers discovered the carcasses in Hwange National Park on Jan. 25.

He says their ivory was missing.

The spokesman says poachers are increasingly turning to poison instead of using their noisy rifles as police and park rangers increase joint patrols.

Farawo says poachers also are injecting cyanide into oranges and pumpkins, which are favorites of elephants.

The southern African nation teems with elephants and other wildlife but has battled poachers for years.

Farawo says 53 elephants died from cyanide poisoning last year, lower than in previous years when hundreds of elephants died.