Rumours are increasingly gaining substance that the famous Harpo, the resident Hippo at Hartebeespoort Dam, is in line to be culled (shot). According to the Kormorant Newspaper, reliable sources have indicated that a permit for the killing of Harpo has been issued by the North-West Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDECT).
Harpo has become a local celebrity, and even has his own facebook page. Residents have become protective over the hippo, and now they are up in arms.
Harpo appeared in May 2019 and have been spotted regularly in many areas around the Dam since. Apparently numerous unsuccessful attempts at catching and relocating the hippo have been made, including the mentioned attempted capture in December 2019.
A spokesperson for the DEDECT, Mashudu Nemutandani, said that the matter is still being investigated and a “formal communication” will be released as soon as a solution is found.Earlier the department had indicated that the hippo “could become a huge problem. Hippos are dangerous animals and the human factor is the big problem here”.
“We need an urgent solution as the dam is a big tourist attraction, and it has to happen soon,” said Constant Hoogkamer of DEDECT, at a meeting held at Hartebeespoort in January 2020.
Local Resident Martyn Manley questioned who initiated and backed the process to get a killing permit approved, and wondered what their reasoning was. “We need to embrace our Wildlife, not kill it”, he said.
Hippos are territorial animals, and relocation is not a simple process, due to the fact that they can easily drown if they run into the water after being darted during the capture.
Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation has been unable to verify the existence of the permit.
(𝐏𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐤) ⬇️⬇️⬇️
A petition to try and save Harpo can be signed here.
Written by CJ Carrington ©Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation