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Zambia has caused Wednesday the outrage of animal advocates by announcing its intention to shoot down 2000 hippos in the course of the next five years to reduce their number deemed to be excessive in the eastern part of the country.
Their elimination must start in may at the time of the opening of the hunt, a-t-on learned from the ministry of Tourism.
“Currently, the population of hippos in the Luangwa national parks South is 13 000, while Luangwa can only accommodate 5000 hippos (…) It poses a danger to the ecosystem “, said to AFP under cover of anonymity an official of the department.
Zambia had already announced similar projects in recent years, but he had each time relinquished under the pressure of defenders of the nature, which have again made their voices heard this week.
The NGO, Born Free has denounced the arguments of the authorities.
“At first it was to prevent an epidemic of anthrax. Then the level of water in the Luangwa river was too low. Now it is because of an alleged overpopulation. None of these justifications holds up, ” said the president of Born Free, Will Travers.
For the NGO, the project of the zambian authorities is primarily motivated by economic reasons, because the hippos are going to be sold in the form of trophies.
According to Mr. Travers, the killing of the hippos could generate nearly 3 million euros.
Hippos are considered animals as ” vulnerable “, according to the international Union for the conservation of nature (IUCN). However, there is a 130 000 in freedom in the world, according to Born Free.