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To: The Director of DNPW, Paul Zyambo & Tourism Minister Hon. Jean Kapata: Stop the Hippo Hunting (Cull) in Luangwa Valley, Zambia

To: The Director of DNPW, Paul Zyambo & Tourism Minister Hon. Jean Kapata: Stop the Hippo Hunting (Cull) in Luangwa Valley, Zambia


Why this is important

There is an urgent situation arising for the Hippos of the Luangwa Valley region of Zambia including the South Luangwa National Park (NP) through Luambe NP to North Luangwa NP. Hunting licenses have been awarded to a foreign Professional Hunter (PH). Bag limits of 2,000 over 5 years and under the guise of 'animal management'. The foreign PH is on-selling hippo trophy hunts to other foreign nationals.

Allegedly, the licenses were awarded last year by the now dissolved ZAWA. There was no legitimate tender process. The new Director of Department of National Parks & Wildlife (DNPW), Mr Paul Zyambo questioned the legality of the licenses, but forged ahead regardless. No Environmental Impact Statement was conducted.

The hunt has been described as a 'cull to control anthrax' by DNPW. If this is a cull and whole herds are to be killed, it is in contravention of the Wildlife Act for the foreign trophy hunters to kill pregnant and lactating females and calves. The only hunts being advertised state they are 'walk and stalk' hunts, no mention of entire herds. If the 'cull' is to control anthrax no testing of the killed hippos have taken place. Meat is being sold to local people in villages and towns. If there is anthrax present the meat is putting lives at risk.

The hippopotamus is listed as Vulnerable on the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List with recent population estimates suggesting that, over the past 10 years, there has been a 7%-20% decline in hippo populations. Killing 2000 hippos in the South Luangwa could have dire consequences for the populations.

The Zambian Government has a responsibility to nurture and protect the country's natural heritage, the parastatal body mandated with that protection is the DNPW and it is governed by the Wildlife Act.

If anthrax is really a cause of the so called ‘cull’ a duty of care to protect its people from disease is paramount and selling potentially infected meat amounts to criminal negligence.

We call on the DNPW to stop the hunts, now.

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Posted June 13, 2016
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