17 September 2012

Nigeria: Wild Life Expert Alerts On Hippopotamus Attacks in Adamawa, Neighbouring States

A wild life expert in Adamawa, Mr Zacharia Yaduma, on Monday raised an alarm over a possible wave of attacks by hippopotamuses in riverine communities of Adamawa and neighbouring states.

He said the attacks would occur with the release of flood water from the Lagdo and Kiri Dams. Yaduma, who is the Assistant Director, Wild Life Control in Adamawa Ministry of Environment, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yola.

He said that Lagdo Dam in Cameroon and Kiri Dam in Adamawa were known for habouring large hippo populations.

He said there was fear that many of the hippopotamuses had found their way out of the sanctuary of the dams with the recent release of water from the two dams.

The wild life expert said that the animals liked to float with moving water and that the water released from the affected dams would provide them the opportunity to float out.

He said that the possible attack by the hippos constituted a major threat to communities in Adamawa and neighbouring states along Gongola and Benue rivers.

Yaduma cautioned communities along the river banks to be alert and keep away from the hippo populations whenever the animals came for grazing to avoid an encounter.

"Those that are living around the riverine areas should not be frightened when they see these animals because God have given us humans the power to control them and to have domination over them.

"So don't be afraid when you see an animal [hippo]. Don't attempt to chase it; allow it to go its way while you go your own way."

Yaduma advised people to raise alarm by beating local drums to keep the hippopotamuses away from their farms and villages.

He also advised community that felt seriously threatened by the hippos to alert the Wildlife staff in their local government areas or to report to the state Ministry of Environment.

"The moment you experience the presence of hippos in your area, just inform the wildlife officers; if the wildlife officers are not around, inform the sectional Head of Forestry in the local government areas.

"If you can come to the headquarters come and report directly to the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Department."

According to Yaduma, there is are least 100 hippos in Kiri Dam alone and a recent clash between some fishermen and some of the hippos at Baban-Daba village along Kiri dam three months ago, led to the death of two people and the destruction of three canoes. NAN

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