Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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2 crocodiles, hippos die

2 crocodiles, hippos die

Whinsley Masara, Chronicle Reporter
TWO crocodiles and more hippos have died in the Mlibizi area of Binga with authorities’ saying further tests must be carried out to establish the cause of the continued deaths.

This is the first time that crocodiles have died in the Mlibizi River where hippos started dying in March this year.

Some people ate meat from the carcasses of hippos leading to the death of at least two people from suspected anthrax. Fish also started dying before the reported deaths of crocodiles.

Acting Zimparks spokesperson Mr Simukai Nyasha said yesterday that the two crocodiles that died over the weekend were approximately three to four months old.

He said the hippos’ death toll had risen from 16 to 21.

“Two crocodiles also died over the weekend and several fish died in the past weeks in the same river. The crocodiles were discovered dead approximately 3km from the point where dead hippos were found. The total hippo deaths recorded is now 21,” he said.

“We have again engaged the Veterinary Department to do further tests to ascertain the cause of deaths. On the hippos we suspect, it’s still anthrax,” said Mr Nyasha.

Two people died from suspected anthrax after eating the hippos’ meat. Anthrax is a life-threatening infectious disease caused by bacteria that normally affects animals.

Over the past three years, hundreds of elephants have died due to suspected cyanide poisoning allegedly administered by poachers at Hwange National Park and the Zambezi Valley.

Some illegal hunters have been arrested and charged with poaching and possessing cyanide.

@winnie_masara

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