400 Buffaloes Drown ‘After Being Chased By Lions’
About 400 buffaloes thought to have been chased by lions drowned in a river on the border between Botswana and Namibia.
The mass drowning occurred on Tuesday night in Chobe River as early investigations by Botswana authorities suggest that the herd was being chased by lions and ran into the river.
Early investigations by authorities in both countries “suggest that an exceptionally large buffalo herd was grazing in Namibia when they stampeded into the Chobe River,” Botswana’s Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism said in a statement late Wednesday.
“Initial indications are that they were being chased by a pride of lions,” the ministry said.
“It is estimated that more than 400 animals drowned due to the massive movement of buffalo trampling, and falling from steep river banks.”
“Mass drownings are not uncommon,” the ministry added.
Speaking with BBC on the incident, a local lodge owner said that it looks like the buffaloes then got stuck because the bank on the other side of the river was too high and that they panicked and stampeded.
He has never heard of such a large group of buffaloes drowning before.
Simone Micheletti, who owns a lodge on the Namibian side of the river, said that the herd was unusually large – at roughly 1,000 buffaloes.
Mr Micheletti said that he heard the lions roaring a lot on Tuesday night. When he went down to the river on Wednesday morning he saw hundreds of dead buffaloes.
He added that it was cloudy on Tuesday night so he suspects the clouds blocked the moonlight, meaning the buffaloes couldn’t see.