14 elephants killed by cyanide poisoning in Zimbabwe

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — A Zimbabwean parks official says 14 elephants were poisoned by cyanide in three separate incidents.  Parks spokeswoman Caroline Washaya Moyo said three elephants were killed in Matusadona National Park in the Kariba area in northern Zimbabwe and 11 more pachyderms were found dead in two different spots in Hwange National Park in western Zimbabwe over the past two weeks.

She said in all cases the elephants were killed by cyanide, according to kidney and liver samples from the dead elephants tested by the Biological Sciences Department. She said the ivory tusks had been cut off six elephants at one location in Hwange park but the other five elephants still had their tusks, suggesting the poachers were disrupted. The motive for the killings in Matusadona was not known.

Police says five people are in police custody and being questioned in connection with the killings of 11 of the elephants.