Home to multiple orphaned rhino—and an abandoned hippopotamus named charlie who apparently believes he is a rhino—odendaal's facility is dedicated to the care and feeding of its animals, but.
The hippopotamus (hippopotamus amphibius), or hippo, from the ancient greek for river horse (ἱπποπόταμος), is a large, mostly herbivorous mammal in sub-saharan africa, and one of only two extant species in the family hippopotamidae (the other is the pygmy hippopotamus. It is unlikely that you will be hanged for taking a wild animal such as a rabbit but, even so, you will get a fine amounting to three times the value of the animal as well as three months in prison, and you will have to enter into a bond to guarantee your good behavior in the future a second offense will be treated more harshly. An aggressive pose reveals the hippopotamus’s teeth, which are prized by poachers (image: wwf-canon / martin harvey) the world’s biggest population of hippos has crashed by 95 per cent, leaving the giant creature as the latest of the planet’s megafauna to be in danger of extinction.
The common hippopotamus (hippopotamus amphibius), or hippo, is a large, mostly herbivorous, semiaquatic mammal native to sub-saharan africa, and one of only two extant species in the family hippopotamidae, the other being the pygmy hippopotamus (choeropsis liberiensis or hexaprotodon liberiensis. The poachers are believed to be veterans of congolese bush wars and former hutu rebels who fled to eastern congo in 1994 after killing tutsis in the genocide in neighboring rwanda they hunt because they are hungry, but also for profit — the meat, though tough, is a pricey delicacy and a three-ton hippo fetches thousands of dollars in village markets across northeastern congo.
In his poaching days in the congo forests, guillaume kasereka used a rusty russian-made rocket launcher to kill hippos for meat these days, he says, they're too scarce and the competition too fierce — rebels and militiamen machine-gun the animals and even dynamite lakes to bring dead hippo to the surface. Despite their label as one of the most dangerous animals in africa, they were playful to watch their tiny ears and eyes would appear from the murky river and then, with a splash, they would disappear. If you are hungry, you might feel inclined to turn to poaching but be careful: this is risky taking livestock is theft, and theft is a felony which carries the death sentence. Congo's hippopotamus population, the world's largest, is being devastated by poaching, conservation officials say only about 800 remain in virunga national park, in the northeast of the country, down from 29,000 in the mid-1970s, according to walter dzeidzic of the world wildlife fund in congo. Their tiny ears and eyes would appear from the murky river and then, with a splash, they would disappear the river is everything to the hippo, ivan explained, it is their lifeline the only real time they leave the river is during their nightly ritual of traveling to nearby plains to consume grasses.
At once endearing and terrifying, hippopotamuses are masters of their river terrain — but with teeth of ivory and a body carrying thousands of pounds of meat, they still need protection from the threat of poachers. Andersson, on the other hand said that it’s a real risk in the future, she said in an email, several steps must be taken in order to control demand for teeth and prevent the poaching and smuggling of hippos and their parts andersson emphasized the need for updated estimates of hippo numbers.
“this is disastrous news for the hippo,” warns susan lieberman, species director at the conservation charity wwf “unless poaching is stopped, hippos will be threatened with extinction” ivory substitute in recent years, hippo meat has become a delicacy in parts of central africa.