Gaborone (Reuters) - Nine elephants were electrocuted in central Botswana in a freak accident near the village of Dukwi.
The elephants died after they knocked down overhead power lines while jostling to drink water from a leaking pipe supplying water to villagers, the director of Wildlife and National Parks, Otisitswe Tiroyamodimo, told Reuters.
"Investigations are still at a preliminary stage, but what we have discovered so far is that the elephants were helping themselves to water from a damaged supply pipe. The elephants were electrocuted when they knocked down power lines, which fell into the gushing pool of water," he said.
Botswana has an elephant population of between 150,000 and 200,000, depending on the migration season. Elephants normally live in the wild but often move near human settlements in search of water, in Botswana, a generally arid country.
(Writing by TJ Strydom, editing by Larry King)