Zimbabwe: Poachers poison 91 elephants

Associated Press
In this Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013 photo, workers look at a rotting elephant carcass, in Hwange National Park , Zimbabwe. The stench of rotting elephant carcasses hangs in the air in northwestern Zimbabwe where wildlife officials say at least 91 animals have been poisoned with cyanide by poachers who hack off the tusks for the lucrative illegal ivory market. Wildlife officials now say at least 91 animals have been poisoned with cyanide by poachers who hack off the tusks for the lucrative illegal ivory market. Officials say cyanide used in gold mining was spread by poachers over the flat salt pans around water holes. (AP Photo)

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The stench of rotting elephant carcasses hangs in the air in western Zimbabwe where wildlife officials say at least 91 elephants were poisoned with cyanide by poachers who hack off the tusks for the lucrative illegal ivory market.

Massive bones, some already bleached by the blistering sun in the Hwange National Park, litter the landscape around one remote watering hole where 18 carcasses were found.

Officials say cyanide used in gold mining was spread by poachers over the flat "salt pans," also known as natural, mineral rich salt licks, around water holes.

They say lions, hyenas and vultures have died from feeding on contaminated carcasses or drinking nearby. (Associated Press)

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