South Africa: National park to kill animals in response to severe drought (The Guardian)

| September 26, 2016

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The recent severe drought in South Africa is forcing rangers in Kruger National Park to kill about 350 hippos and buffaloes.

The southern African drought has been called the worst in 35 years, and has resulted in food shortages for the animals.

There are about 47,000 buffaloes and 8,000 hippos in Kruger National Park, the highest numbers ever recorded.

In the early 1990s, a drought reduced Kruger’s buffalo population by more than half to about 14,000. The hippo population was also reduced to around 2,000. Both populations rebounded. The recent drought has also reduced the national cattle herd by 15%.

Meat from the killed animals may be distributed to poor communities near the park if veterinary authorities give the go-ahead.

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Photo credit: Dolf van Zuydam/AP