Hippopotamuses are protected by conversations laws in Nigeria. In other words, killing or hurting them is an offence punishable by law. They are wild and deadly.
In Gombe State, hippopotamuses have grown to record numbers endangering lives and properties. They are eating up farmers’ crops and destroying fishermen’s nets and fish-traps. They kill atimes.
Residents off Gombe State have urged the federal government to allow them defend themselves against the animals all to no avail. The state government has also cried out.
An adult hippopotamus can munch as much as 30kg of grass per feeding session, and that quantity, experts say, is relatively low, considering their bulk.
Some villages in Gombe State such as Difa, Dadin-Kowa, Gombe-Abba, Gwani, Malala, Maleri, Nafada communities and most riverine communities in Gombe State lament being mulled by these animals.
One Malam Sa’adu Adamu, Chairman, Dadin-Kowa Fishermen, stated that hippos pose a present threat to their business because destroy fishing equipment and frustrate some out of fishing.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Forest Resources, Mr. Adamu Pukuma, acknowledged that hippos are one among animals going extinct and therefore placed under protection.
“But the particular one that was killed had become notorious and unbearable. It killed people around the area as well as destroyed farms and fishing equipment.
“There were complaints and a huge outcry from the people of the area, which was why we sought the governor’s permission to kill it.”
Gombe State Commissioner of Environment and Forestry Resources, Hajiya Sa’adatu Sa’ad Mustapha stated that “They (Hippos) cannot be killed, not only because the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classify them as being on the verge of becoming endangered.
“The particular species of hippopotamus found in Gombe is one of the rarest in the world. Instead of killing them, we told them to just scare them away.
“Killing the animals is against the law, therefore we warned the locals to desist from touching them, most especially the hunters,” she stated.