Experts at Born Free insist the species is increasingly rare and is being threatened across the African continent. Killing of 1,250 hippos over five years could generate upwards of £2.6m for trophy hunting outfitters and the Zambian government, the charity says.
“We don't believe there is any reason the hippos should be culled and trophy hunting is not in any way an appropriate way of managing animal populations. These hunts are being sold by a South African hunting outfit called Siluwe Hunting; they're talking about hunters killing two hippos for over £4,350.
“So our belief is that this is very much to do with lining the pockets of trophy outfitters and very presumably of some of Zambia's officials.” There are only approximately 130,000 wild hippos remaining on the planet and the sick trophy hunting industry is driven by Asian demand for their tusks as a substitute for ivory.