THE Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe’s biggest game reserve, is fast running out of water for wildlife due to the current dry spell which has seen temperatures in the area reaching as high as 44 degrees Celsius.
Sources told NewZimbabwe.com wild animals in the world-renowned game reserve were competing for the precious mineral at the few remaining water sources.
To situation has been worsened by veld fires that have destroyed grass and trees.
“Some elephants are now trekking into neighbouring Botswana in search of food and water. Most of the waterholes have already run dry,” one source said.
She said there were strong fears the situation would deteriorate if the summer rains do not fall within the next few weeks.
She added the situation had been made worse after some of the solar-powered boreholes which were installed in the national park by various partners were vandalised and stolen.
Reached for comment by NewZimbabwe.com, the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management (ZimParks) spokesperson, Tinashe Farawo said the water situation in the national park was not dire, but confirmed waterholes were drying up.
“This is the peak of the drought season and the season has got its own challenges. This year, the water situation in the park is good because, remember, last year we had normal to above rainfall,” Farawo said in a telephone interview.
The park has about 10 waterholes, which supply the wild animals with the precious mineral.
The Hwange National Park is home to about 70 000 elephants against a holding capacity of 30 000.