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MET expects number of dead hippos in Bwabwata to rise

RUNDU, 10 OCT (NAMPA) – The number of hippopotamuses that have died in the Bwabwata National Park’s Mahango core area is expected to increase from the 109 recorded so far.
Deputy Director for the North-Eastern regions in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Apollinaris Kanyinga told Nampa on Monday the numbers which stood at 52 on Wednesday quickly rose to 109 over the weekend.
Kanyinga said another assessment will be carried out by park wardens on Tuesday to find out if hippos are still dying, although it will be difficult since the previous assessment was done by helicopter.
“Although an assessment is still to be carried out, the number of deaths of these animals is definitely going to increase,” said the deputy director.
The ministry dispatched a State veterinarian to the park to carry out tests to determine the cause of death.
There has been speculation that the 109 hippos died due to an outbreak of anthrax but confirmation will only be done when the testing of the samples is concluded.
The hippo population in Namibia was estimated at 1 300 before the recent deaths.

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