Friday, 18 January 2013

Pygmy hippo shot in NT

A PYGMY hippopotamus has been shot dead during a pig hunting expedition in the Territory.

The hippo is normally native to the swamps of west Africa, in particular Liberia.

Instead, this one - estimated to be about 250kg - was shot while roaming the bush of the Douglas Daly, 200km south of Darwin.

This is about 16,000km away from Liberia.

It is believed the female hippo is an old escapee from Tipperary Station, from when it used to be an exotic animal reserve.

This means it has been poking about the Douglas Daly for the past five years.

Nico Courtney, 27, was out spotlighting for pigs with his mate Rusty on a station in the Douglas Daly district on Saturday night.

"It was about 1am and running away from us - from the tail end it just looked like a big pig," the station worker said.

"We got out, had a look at it, and thought 'that's not a pig, it's a hippo'.

"Then we thought 'you don't get hippos in Australia'."

The pair thought it might be a baby hippo - and then naturally started wondering, as they stood in the middle of dark scrub, "where the hell" its mum and dad might be.

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