Zambia urged to abandon hippo cull

New Delhi, June 7 (IANS) Born Free Foundation has condemned Zambia’s plan to kill 400 hippopotamuses a year over the next five years in the Luangwa River Valley, an area famous as a wildlife stronghold.

According to reports, the cull (which has already started) was sanctioned by the Zambian Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) to prevent the future spread of anthrax among wild animals along a 250 km stretch.

However, local stakeholders were only informed about the cull four days before it started, Born Free said.

They were also advised that the killing would be opened up to non-Zambian trophy hunters, raising questions about the legality of the hunt and its motivations.

A five-year hunting contract is being marketed by a South African hunting company.

Born Free President Will Travers said: “There are many questions about this abhorrent activity… Is it a cull or is it ‘trophy hunting’?

“What is the scientific rationale for killing up to 2,000 hippo (there are perhaps as few as 80,000 hippo in all of Southern Africa)?”

The hippopotamus is listed as Vulnerable on the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

–IANS

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