The carcasses of 90 elephants with their tucks stolen have been found in Botswana - prompting activists to call for action.
The mass slaughter, which has been described by some media as a 'poaching spree', is believed to be the country's worst ever by charity Elephants without Borders (EwB), which made the grim discovery during an aerial survey.
"We started flying the survey on July 10, and we have counted 90 elephant carcasses since the survey commenced. Each day we are counting dead elephants," said EwB Director Mike Chase. "The scale of elephant poaching is by far the largest I have seen or read about in Africa to date."
As a result of the mass killing, vegan activists are calling for action. Ingrid Newkirk, President of animal rights charity PETA, has written to Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi urging him to act immediately to reverse the disarming of Botswana’s anti-poaching unit.
She says since military weapons and equipment were withdrawn from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks in May, nearly 90 elephants and five white rhinoceroses have been slaughtered by heavily armed poachers.
'No longer a haven'
"With its ban on trophy hunting and its internationally applauded anti-poaching efforts, Botswana was once a haven for animals - but no more," said Newkirk.
"PETA is urging President Masisi to give the country’s anti-poaching unit the equipment it once had and now needs in order to protect the elephants who call Botswana home."