Hippo killed in Nyanyadzi

The Manica Post - - Local News - Post Cor­re­spon­dent

OF­FI­CIALS from the Zim­babwe Parks and Wildlife Man­age­ment Author­ity last week shot dead a hip­popota­mus that had wreaked havoc, dam­ag­ing the win­ter wheat and en­dan­ger­ing peo­ple’s lives in Nyanyadzi.

The hippo, which had a calf, is sus­pected to have es­caped from the Save Val­ley Con­ser­vancy. ZimParks had or­dered the shoot­ing of the hip­pos fol­low­ing an out­cry from the tra­di­tional lead­ers and their sub­jects over the burly mam­mal, which they said was de­stroy­ing crops and en­dan­ger­ing their lives. ZimParks of­fi­cial Mr John Danfa said they were still hunt­ing for the calf which is be­lieved to have found habi­tat along Save River.

“Usu­ally hip­pos move up and down rivers dur­ing the rainy sea­son. We be­lieve the two es­caped from the Save Val­ley Con­ser­vancy. They were both fe­males and they do not usu­ally click if there is no male.

“They are be­lieved to have sep­a­rated. We acted af­ter re­ceiv­ing com­plaints from the tra­di­tional lead­ers in Hot Springs and Nyanyadzi that these hip­pos were de­stroy­ing their wheat and crops in the fields,” he said.

“Peo­ple’s lives were also in dan­ger and as a re­sult the au­thor­i­ties or­dered its killing. The first time we at­tempted to kill it, it was in the com­pany of so many cat­tle and we could not do any­thing.

“Our of­fi­cers then teamed up with vil­lagers to track it un­til last week when we shot it down in Nyanyadzi,” said Mr Danfa.

He said 12 bul­lets were pumped into the hippo be­fore it died.

The meat was shared among vil­lagers. Mr Tapiwa Mun­y­ati, of Dirikwe vil­lage said: “This hippo was be­com­ing a threat to hu­man lives in the area. It was be­ing spot­ted near home­steads at night.”

“There are veg­etable gar­dens along one of tribu­tary that feed into Save River where it was be­ing spot­ted. We have a vil­lager who sur­vived death by a whisker re­cently when the hippo strayed to his home­stead. He went out of his house to in­ves­ti­gate why his dogs were bark­ing. He had a torch and the hippo, which does not like light, charged to­wards him. For­tu­nately, he man­aged to es­cape and no­ti­fied other vil­lagers. We are ap­peal­ing to the re­spon­si­ble au­thor­i­ties to make sure that the re­main­ing one is also killed”.

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