Villagers in Niger 'massacre' 27 hippos

Frustrated farmers killed at least 27 hippos after the beasts damaged their livelihood in western Niger, prompting official inte
Frustrated farmers killed at least 27 hippos after the beasts damaged their livelihood in western Niger, prompting official intervention

At least 27 hippos have been slaughtered in a touristy zone in western Niger by villagers who blame them for destroying crops and harming livestock, local authorities said on Thursday.

The "massacre ...started in March and then assumed dramatic proportions" mainly in island settlements on the Niger river, the prefect of the Ayorou region, Jando Rhichi Algaher, told AFP.

Large numbers of hippos and several have made Ayorou, about 200 kilometres (125 miles) from the capital Niamey, a popular place for tourists.

Patrols by troops "have helped slow the slaughter", Algaher said.

"The locals have killed a large number of hippopotamuses, although this species is protected," Environment Minister Almoustapha Garba said on state radio.

"We urged the local people not to break the law and took note of their concerns," said Garba, who promised to pay compensation to the affected farmers.

Tension is high in Ayorou after the arrest of about ten people suspected of killing a hippopotamus. Some of the suspects have been freed, Algaher said.

In May, local tribal chiefs issued warnings about hippos, saying they were ravaging crops and threatening boats on the Niger river.

In 2014, 12 schoolchildren aged between 12 and 13 were killed when a attacked their boat on the Niger at Libore, a village near Niamey.

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© 2017 AFP

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Jul 14, 2017
Simple solution to all poaching in Africa. Snipers, snipers, snipers. Shoot to kill, no exceptions.

Jul 14, 2017
Hippos kill more people in Africa than any other animal. Victims are usually alone, and/or naively wandering between a hippo and his/her river. The last thing the victim sees is a huge ugly and stinking "hall closet full of obscenely big teeth bursting very loudly out of the bush charging him/her at about 25 miles per hour or more. Hippos look peaceful as an English Country painting in the water, but they can run surprisingly and scary fast on land when they have a mind to do so...... and a person in 'their' territory would give them that mind.

Authorities should look for a murder in that area, perhaps of a child or a woman, whether reported or unreported. If that murder/eating alive/whatever was of YOUR mother or kid, YOU would hunt them too.

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