Africa’s overall elephant population is declining due to poaching but Botswana, home to almost a third of the continent’s elephants, has seen numbers grow to 130,000 from 80,000 in the late 1990s. (Reuters) A combination photo shows dead elephants in Okavango Delta, Botswana from May to June, 2020. REUTERS “Several live elephants that we observed appeared to be weak, lethargic and emaciated. Some elephants appeared disorientated, had difficulty walking, showed signs of partial paralysis or a limp,” EWB director Mike Chase said. GABORONE – The number of elephants found dead in Botswana’s Okavango Panhandle has risen to 275 from 154 reported two weeks ago, the government said on Thursday. In the report, EWB put the death toll at 356 and Chase said urgent action was needed to establish if the deaths were caused by disease or poisoning. In early May, Elephants without Borders (EWB), a conservation organization, reported that its own aerial survey showed elephants of all ages appeared to be dying. Authorities are investigating the unexplained deaths over the past months. Poaching has been ruled out as the carcasses were found intact. “Three laboratories in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Canada have been identified to process the samples taken from the dead elephants,” the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism said in a statement.