GABORONE: Hundreds of elephants have died mysteriously in Botswana's famed Okavango Delta, the head of the wildlife department said Thursday, ruling out poaching as the tusks were found intact. The landlocked southern African country has the world's largest elephant population, estimated to be around 130,000. "We have had a report of 356 dead elephants in the area north of the Okavango Delta and we have confirmed 275 so far," Cyril Taolo, the acting director of the department of Wildlife and National Parks, told AFP in a text message. He said the cause of the deaths was yet to be established with anthrax having been ruled out. "We do not suspect poaching since (the) animals were found with tusks," he said.
GENEVA: The UN weather agency is investigating media reports suggesting a new record high temperature of over 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in the Arctic Circle amid a heatwave and prolonged wildfires in eastern Siberia. The World Meteorological Organization said Tuesday that it's looking to verify the temperature reading on Saturday in the Russian town of Verkoyansk with Roshydromet, the Russian federal service for hydro-meteorological and environmental monitoring. Agency spokeswoman Clare Nullis said wildfires in the Russian region and hot summer conditions regularly drive temperatures above 30 degrees C (86 F) in July, but they've never been found to top 38 degrees in the area. ``We're taking it seriously, but we need to await official confirmation,'' she told reporters