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Hippo kills 13 cows in Buyende

By Tom Gwebayanga

Added 26th September 2018 10:09 AM

The affected owners have asked local leaders to gun down the beast

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The affected owners have asked local leaders to gun down the beast

A hippopotamus has gone on rampage in Buyende district, killing 14 cows and leaving others with injuries in a space of just three weeks.

The territorial hippo which grazes in the ever green pasture along the shores of Lake Kyoga, bordering Buyende and Kaliro district, attacks the cows to protect its offspring.

The residents have now made calls for the hippo to be killed.

The LC3 chairman for Kagulu, Stephen Malagala, said the locals are worried that the hippo may now attack a human.

“It brought the calf to the river bank for safe custody, but whenever it comes to check on it, the cows get scared and take off. The calf also follows, forcing the mother to chase and gore them, killing some cows,” Malagala a singer turned politician said.

Hippos hide male calves until they are fully grown, lest other males kill them. 

Residents have been using the area as a cattle grazing ground, only to check on them occasionally.

The affected owners, led by James Odome, said they have for the last three weeks asked for help from local leaders and sought intervention from the vermin control office to gun down the beast, but all in vain.

“We have approached some offices and got no positive response,” Odome said.  

The district production officer for Buyende, Dr Fredrick Kabbale, said his office got the report, adding that the issue needs more consultations and technical procedures.  

The GISO for Kagulu sub-county, Mubarak Bakaaki, scoffed at the complainants saying that the peninsula in question, being a no man’s land, is government-owned and thus, it is the hippos’ territory.

“We warned them to relocate their cattle and leave the sanctuary. The wise complied, while the foolish are losing,” Bakaaki said.

He added that much as the vermin control office has the capacity to authorise the shooting, nothing can take course without consulting the Uganda Wildlife Authority.

About hippos

Hippos are largely recognised as Africa's most dangerous animal and kill an estimated 500 people a year in Africa.

The common hippopotamus is a large, mostly herbivorous, semi-aquatic mammal and native to sub-Saharan Africa.

Adult hippos are recognisable by their barrel-shaped torsos, wide-opening mouths revealing large canine tusks, nearly hairless bodies, columnar legs and large size. Adult males weigh up to 1,800kg while females weigh up to 1,500 kg.

Limited to very restricted ranges, hippos are shy, solitary dwellers.

They primarily only eat plants—munching on about 35kg of grass each day.

Hippos are also one of the most aggressive animals on Earth.

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