Zambia hippo cull


Zambia revived plans suspended two years ago after protests by animal rights activists for the controlled slaughter of up to 2,000 hippos over the next five years, its tourism minister said.

Charles Banda said the hippo population could not be supported by water levels in the Luangwa river where most of the animals are located, while moving them elsewhere in the southern African country would be too costly.

Government decided to proceed with the plan to control the hippo population in eastern Zambia, the tourism minister said.
“The South Luangwa National Park has a population of more than 13,000 hippo but the area is only ideal for 5,000 hippo,” Banda said, adding the ecosystem would be threatened.
“Moving hippos to other water bodies would be expensive. At the moment the only option we have is culling.”

British wildlife charity Born Free led the campaign against culling in June 2016 describing it as trophy hunting.

On Monday, Born Free said on its website Zambia failed to provide robust, scientific evidence demonstrating there is an over-population of hippo in the Luangwa River.
“Scientific evidence suggests culling hippos stimulates breeding and ends up increasing the population, potentially establishing a vicious cycle of death and destruction,” it said.

Born Free said in 2016 the scientific rationale for killing up to 2,000 hippos when their population in the entire southern Africa stood at 80,000 hippos was questionable.