No conclusive answer for Botswana elephant deaths, but poison can't be ruled out
However, the results did not eliminate the possibility of poisoning.
More than 300 elephant carcasses have been discovered north of the Okavango Delta since March.
The cause of death remains a mystery.
Botswana, home to the world's largest elephant population, sent test samples to laboratories in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The preliminary results suggest that the deaths could be linked to environmental factors, including naturally occurring toxins.
Authorities have so far ruled out poaching, as the elephant tusks were found intact.
Conservationist Dr. Niall McCann says more samples of the elephant carcasses and of the environment, including the water and soil in the area, must be collected and tested.
McCann, the director of the UK-based conservation charity National Park Rescue, has described the death as unprecedented and catastrophic.
He says finding the root cause of the mass deaths won't be an easy task.
Trying to identify environmental toxins or poisons, novel pathogens, or whatever this is is frightfully difficult.Dr Niall McCann, Director and founder - National Park Rescue
It's probably no surprise to many within the field that we still don't have a conclusive answer.Dr Niall McCann, Director and founder - National Park Rescue
It's obviously concerning. I wish we already knew what it was so that we could rule it out happening again.Dr Niall McCann, Director and founder - National Park Rescue
Meanwhile, it appears that Bottsawana's remaining elephant population has fled the Okavango Delta since the die-off event.
Listen to Dr Niall McCann in conversation with Mike Wills:
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