An investigation has been launched after 11 elephants were found dead in a forest in Zimbabwe.

The carcasses were discovered in Pandamasue Forest, outside Hwange National Park, close to the border with Botswana.

Fears have now been raised, with the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) claiming their deaths may have been caused by anthrax.

Tinashe Farawo, a spokesperson for Zimparks, said that following preliminary investigations both poaching and cyanide poisoning – which are prevalent in and around Hwange National Park – have been ruled out.

Speaking about the tragic case, Mr Farawo said: “We can confirm that 11 elephants have been found dead and we’re investigating the cause of the death.

“Our preliminary investigations have ruled out poaching and cyanide poisoning because the tusks are intact and no other animal species has been affected including vultures.