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More tests to be done on mysterious hippo deaths 

More tests to be done on mysterious hippo deaths 

Marthina Mutanga 

THE anthrax disease has been ruled out in the mysterious death of a total twenty-five hippos that have been dying starting 29 August 2019 in Lake Lyambezi.

Environment Ministry Spokesperson, Romeo Muyunda, said that pesticide poisoning as a result of agricultural activities that take around the lake is suspected to be the cause of death, but that more tests have to be done to determine why the hippos are dying at an alarming rate. 

SAD SIGHT: Hippo carcasses: Photo: Contributed

“The hippos started dying two weeks ago but they continue to die,” he said.

Muyunda said that the first test of anthrax that was done last week came back negative.

A number of hippo carcasses can be still seen floating on the lake and members of the community have started feasting on the meat, although the ministry is yet to declare it fit for human consumption.

Lake Lyambezi in the Zilitene area in the Katima Mulilo Rural Constituency is home to over 400 hippos.

If the current situation continues, the entire population might be lost as the lake is also fast drying out with drought taking its course.

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