Last week the Zambian Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) announced that it would halt the controlled slaughter of up to 2,000 hippopotami in the next five years. DNPW claimed that it encouraged the routine killing of hippopotami—up to 400 per year—as a measure to prevent the spread of anthrax. However, after learning that DNPW began issuing trophy hunting licenses for that period, United Kingdom-based animal-rights organization Born Free Foundation’s president Will Travers launched an intensive campaign to end the cull. Given that the entire African hippopotami population is at approximately 80,000 and the killing of 2,000 healthy animals is senseless, Travers hoped that the halt turns into a permanent ban. “Were they to recommence the killing,” Travers said, “without doubt there would be members of the safari-going public who would decide to spend their money elsewhere to view Africa’s magnificent wildlife legacy.”
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