The Zambian government plans to kill 2,000 hippopotamuses over 5 years starting from May in an attempt to control overpopulation. Animal rights groups have condemned the plan as a distraction to sell hippos to trophy hunters.
“The justifications for this cull – which is being openly marketed to paying trophy hunters – are like a sea of shifting sand,” said Born Free conservationist group president, Will Travers.
Travers said that this was not the first time the government has proposed such a thing, the first instance in 2016 but was not allowed to go through. He also said that the government and trophy hunters stand to gain around $3.3 million from a mass killing of this nature.
“Hippo lives are on the line in order to line the pockets of a few hunting operators and government officials,” he said.
Hippos, which are herbivorous, semiaquatic mammals, are classified as “vulnerable” in the Red List compiled by the According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), hippos are “vulnerable” in the Red List compiled by the organization. There are about 130,000 hippos in the south and central African wilderness.