Mark Clairmont |

MUSKOKA — Think those blooms of blue-green algae popping up in Muskoka lakes this summer are no big deal?

Well, reports today out of Botswana may hint otherwise.

The mysterious deaths of 330 elephants in the South African country this spring point to the algae as the cause, says its government.

The pachyderms were found dead around bodies of water tainted blue-green.

Just as have been seen in Muskoka and other parts of Simcoe Muskoka lakes this summer.

But South African officials say no other animals seem to be affected, like hyenas and vultures.

A good sign for seagulls and other local wildlife here.

The elephants in the northwestern area of Botswana died from a neurological disorder apparently caused by drinking water tainted by “a toxic bloom of cyanobacterium in seasonal pans (water sources) in the region,” said Cyril Taolo, Department of Wildlife and National Parks acting director.

There are 130,000 elephants in Botswana, about a third of the continent’s population.

Elephants in the South African country of Botswana that drank water tainted with blue-green algae appear to have died from the “toxic bloom of cyanobacterium,” as seen here in this handout photo from the Okavango Delta in northwestern Botswana. (Reuters)



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