Hippos in Congo

Distribution of hippos

Hippos have declined most dramatically in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The population in Virunga National Park had dropped to 800 or 900 from around 29,000 in the mid 1970s.The decline is attributed to the disruptions caused by the Second Congo War. The poachers are believed to be former Hutu rebels, poorly paid Congolese soldiers, and local militia groups Reasons for poaching include the belief that hippos are unintelligent, that they are harmful to society, and also for money. The sale of hippo meat is illegal, but black-market sales are difficult for Virunga National Park officers to track

“DR Congo’s hippos face extinction.”. BBC. 2005

A hippo population in the Democratic Republic of Congo – once the world’s largest – is facing extinction, the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) says.

The international conservation group says there are fewer than 900 hippos left in the Virunga National Park.

Thirty years ago there were 29,000 hippos in the park in eastern DR Congo. The WWF says poaching by poorly paid Congolese soldiers and local militia groups has been responsible for the decline in the population.

Slaughtered Hippos in Congo (2010)

More dismal news I am afraid. We can report that 7 hippos were slaughtered during the month of February. All in Virunga National Park. Bantu from IDPE, a local organization that works with the communities around Virunga, confirmed all of this with us here at the Congolese Wildlife Authority. Utterly depressing after all the effort that the Rangers go to.

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