The Hartbeespoort community is outraged after circulating rumours that the hippo in Hartbeespoort Dam is to be killed.
The hippo, who has even been named Harpo, appeared in the Hartbeespoort Dam in May this year and has been spotted in various locations the past months. This week, rumours started circulating that a Brits businessman has obtained a permit to shoot and kill the hippo. The businessman admitted to Kormorant that he has obtained a permit to shoot the hippo but said he would not kill the animal right away as plans were underway to capture the hippo.
Kormorant enquired from the North West environment department who said that its “biodiversity management officers are working to successfully remove the animal in a non-lethal manner, and the hunting permit issued is indeed for use in the case where other catch and relocating measures cannot be possibly applied, or even in instances where eminent danger may arise during the operation or process.”
“The current hippopotamus problem in the Hartbeespoort Dam remains a possible risk to residents, water users and any passerby in that specific area if not finally controlled. It is always our practice that our specialist damage-causing animal control officers would apply their mind carefully in responding to such calls, and of course balance the risks that such animals could pose, in a way that none-lethal measures are preferred, sought and applied before any determination on lethal measure as the last resort,” the department said in response to the Kormorant enquiry.