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Zim hippo deaths likely caused by pesticide - conservation group

The area where the hippos died was close to a river where villagers were spraying their crops against worms.

A hippotamus. Picture: Pixabay.com

HARARE - A conservation group in Zimbabwe says the mystery deaths of at least 10 hippos in the north of the country was likely caused by a pesticide.

The area where the hippos died was close to a river where villagers were spraying their crops against worms.

The independent Bhejane Trust says this looks to be an accidental poisoning.

The group says villagers grow their crops at the river's edge in Mlibizi and may have been using a chemical like carbaryl to get rid of insects and other crop pests.

Unfortunately, villagers have already eaten some of the meat from the hippos.

The deaths appear to have occurred during a two-week period.

Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri has told state media this is the first time hippo poisonings have been reported and the Environmental Management Agency will have to make villagers more aware of the dangers of using pesticides.

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