The Zambian Government has U-turned on its announced plans to cull 2,000 hippos in the Luangwa Valley.
According to an announcement by Umlilo Safaris on the trophy hunting website, the cull was cancelled due to “a well orchestrated hate campaign against us”.
Umlilo Safaris is a South African hunting outfitter that was contracted to source clients for these hippo hunts.
Umlilo Safaris went on to say “We have already notified all the clients that have booked these hunts of the situation. Luckily this number is low.”
The planned cull, termed a ‘hippo management hunt’ was cancelled in 2016, then re-instated in 2018, before now being cancelled again.
Wild hippo numbers across Africa are under increasingly pressure with a maximum estimate of just 115,000 to 130,000 animals.
They are listed as ‘Vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature
As efforts increase to end the trade in elephant ivory, hippos are being increasingly targeted for their ivory as a replacement.
According to Born Free, the latest data confirms that in the decade to 2016, more than 6,000 hippo teeth, 2,048 hippo tusks and a further 1,183 hippo ‘trophies’ were exported to EU Member States alongside thousands of other ‘parts and products’.