The Zambian Government has reversed a controversial decision to cull 2,000 hippos in the Lugangwa valley, situated in the country’s eastern province.
South African hunting company Umlilo Safaris announced the cancellation on its website, adding that this was a result of a “a well-orchestrated hate campaign against us”. The company was forced to notify its clients of the cancellation but said the number of people booked to go on the hunt “was low”.
The planned cull, described as a “hippo management hunt” was cancelled in 2016, then reinstated in 2018, before once again being cancelled.
There are concerns about the numbers of wild hippos across Africa, however, with an estimated number of 115,000 to 130,000 remaining, with the International Union for Conservation of Nature listing them as “vulnerable”.
Those interested in profiting from the ivory trade see hippos as a replacement for growing international efforts to limit the trade in elephant tusks.
According to Born Free, the latest data confirms that in the decade to 2016, more than 6,000 hippo teeth, 2,048 hippo tusks and a further 1,183 hippo “trophies” were exported to EU Member States alongside thousands of other “parts and products”.
– African News Agency