Yola — Riverine communities in southern parts of Adamawa State are now living in an atmosphere of uncertainty as rampaging hippos killed two in Shelleng, a 200 kilometers drive from Yola, the state capital.
Residents say that three rampaging hippo stormed the area in the wee hours of Saturday wreaking havoc. It was learnt that the residents were caught unawares when the animals were suddenly sighted in a section of the village causing pandemonium.
Disturbed by the incessant attacks and killing by wild animals in the area, the traditional ruler of Shelleng, Amna Shelleng, communicated the matter to the state government which in turn directed the natural resources department to engage local hunters to assist.
There is government game reserve in Shelleng, and local people say the hippos have been coming into the towns from the reserve.
An official of the state department of natural resources said the marauding mammals were destroying fishing ponds, rice fields and attacking cattle as well as threatening the livelihood of local farmers and fishermen in the areas. An eyewitness says that during the weekend, two fishermen were killed by a rampaging hippo in Shelleng. The authorities ordered that the aggressive hippos be killed, and they have introduced a ban on boats along several stretches of the Benue River where hippo herds have reached unprecedented size.
Though the state director of world wild life in the state could not be reached as he was said to have travelled, local official in the natural resources said the hippos that had killed two fishermen, injured a boatman and damaged rice fields, have already been killed.
When contacted, the police public relations officer for the state, ASP Nemuel Yoila, says the police are yet to get details of the hippos attack.