The gruesome find happened during an aerial survey of the land over the course of a few weeks this summer. As scientists with Elephants Beyond Borders and Botswana’s Department of Wildlife flew through the area in planes, they spotted bodies upon bodies from the air.
“I'm shocked, I'm completely astounded,” Mike Chase, director of Elephants Beyond Borders, told BBC. “The scale of elephant poaching is by far the largest I've seen or read about anywhere in Africa to date.”
The mass killing is likely due to recent changes to Botswana’s anti-poaching units, Chase said. Previously, the country’s officers were armed with military weapons and had a shoot-to-kill policy against poachers. But in May, they were disarmed under policy introduced by new president Mokgweetsi Masisi.