Saturday, 6 December 2014

Cameroon Faces Dilemma With Rampaging Hippos, Elephants

December 05, 2014 4:07 AM

Hundreds of elephants and hippopotamuses are destroying farms, plantations and crops after leaving their habitat in the Kalfou Park in northern Cameroon. Government officials say several people have been killed by the large mammals, but authorities have joined wildlife organizations in warning against killing the animals, which are a protected species.

Villagers in far north Cameroon say within the past three months hundreds of elephants and hippopotamuses have caused enormous damage to their farms and destroyed their villages. Ledou Ahmadou of Bougay village said he has lost all of his crops to the animals.

He said the animals destroyed all of his sorghum and onions and continue to attack people in their villages. He said no day goes by without the elephants destroying property in at least one of the five villages in his area.

The animals are leaving the overcrowded 4,000-hectare Kalfou Wildlife Park for greener pastures. Nkwenti Simon Doh, who is the most senior administrative official in the area, said increased population pressure has transformed parts of the park to farms and villages, putting pressure on natural resources. He said the elephants and hippopotamuses from Gere Lake, near the park, have already killed several people.

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