Windhoek — The Ministry of Environment in addition to Tourism will be still investigating the high mortalities of hippos in Lake Lyambezi around Zilitene area of Zambezi Region.
Over 100 hippos found at Lake Lyambezi within the Katima Mulilo Rural Constituency have since been dying.
Recently, dozens of community members were seen at the banks of Lake Lyambezi where the hippos are stranded, waiting for one to die to ensure they could also have a share.
the idea has been reported which about 50 hippos have already died in addition to the number will be required to rise.
Asked on the situation of the dying hippos, the Ministry of Environment in addition to Tourism spokesperson Romeo Muyunda on Friday said the ministry will be still investigating the cause of mortalities.
However, he revealed the situation has since enhanced, as they did not receive reports of hippo mortalities within the past two weeks.
Muyunda encouraged community members to desist via eating the meat, because the cause of death remains unknown.
“the idea seems mortalities has stopped, however we still urge people within the area should they discover a carcass, not to consume the meat. The ministry in collaboration with the ministry of agriculture will be still investigating the cause of mortalities. Until then, communities are urged not to consume the meat. We suspect which the mortalities can be as a result of animal disease,” Muyunda noted.
Initially, the idea was suspected which the hippos were dying of anthrax, however which has been ruled out after test results turned out negative.
Although not yet confirmed, the ministry suspected which the hippos might have been poisoned after they went to graze at a nearby production farm in neighbouring Botswana where they reportedly use very poisonous pesticides.
“A team was there to take samples of inner organs – livers in addition to kidneys,” the environment ministry’s chief control warden in Zambezi Region Morgan Saisai said.
When brand-new Era visited the lake recently, the idea was observed which community members had already began having a feast as they were sharing meat of the semi-aquatic mammals. The early birds filled their vehicles with hippo meat after three hippos were reportedly found dead.
According to Saisai, the entire lake Lyambezi will be home to over 400 hippos, in addition to if the current situation continues, the entire population might be lost as the lake will be also fast drying out with drought taking its course.
Asked on the situation of the hippos which were stuck in a pond of the Chobe River, Muyunda confirmed they are doing well.
“The threat has been averted as we continue to pump water on a daily basis. Our staff members with the assistance of the Salambala Conservancy are pumping water in addition to monitoring the situation. So far, the hippos have sufficient water,” he said.
Equally, he explained the community are using the same borehole to pump water for themselves.
Additionally, he said the pond will be also helping in water provision for livestock in addition to various other wildlife species within the area.
According to him, there will be only one borehole drilled there in addition to the idea will be pumping sufficient amounts of water on a daily basis.
“The ministry will continue to pump water within the pond until the river will be functional, then we will donate the borehole to the conservancy. Since the ministry began pumping water into the ponds, no mortalities have been recorded. in addition to we are generally happy with the progress in addition to achievement of This specific initiative,” Muyunda stated.