By Thupeyo Muleya
Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority rangers last week shot and killed two hippopotamuses that had become a danger to residents and security personnel on patrol along the Limpopo River.
The trekking and killing of the two animals follows an attack on a Zimbabwe National Army officer by a hippo recently.
The soldier, Pelious Moyo (38), was buried at his rural home in Tongwe on Tuesday last week.
Zimparks spokesperson Mr Tinashe Farawo confirmed the shooting.
“Our policy is that when human life is under threat from wild animals, we eliminate the animals,” he said. “In this case these two hippos had a tendency of terrorising people along the Limpopo River and we had to step in.
“We have already eliminated the two hippos. These are the same issues we have been telling the world that we have an overpopulation of animals in our country and in some cases these end up encroaching into human settlements which has resulted in hundreds of deaths over the years.”
Mr Farawo encouraged members of the community to urgently report to Zimparks any problem animals to elicit a rapid response.
He said it was sad to note that there were people who take dangerous wild animals lightly by reporting to the wrong people.
“We had one case in Gwanda where people reported problem animals to their relative in the United Kingdom who then contacted us,” said Mr Farawo. “We encourage people to report to our offices so that we take immediate action to save lives.”
Wild animals, especially elephants and hyenas, have become a menace in Beitbridge district mainly during the cropping season.