THE hippo that had been terrorising schoolkids and residents in Bevhula Village in Malamulele, Limpopo, has been shot dead by SA Wildlife.
The hippo posed a life threat by chasing pupils who took a short cut to get to their school in the neighbouring village, and the animal had also been destroying crops on farms.
On Monday, SA Wildlife made the decision to kill the animal after it had been roaming in the area for three months.
Officials allowed the villagers to bring knives, pangas and axes to cut chunks of meat off the carcass.
Farmer Gezani Maluleke (56) said: “The hippo came to our fields every night and destroyed our crops. We reported the problem to the rangers. I am happy it has been shot dead.”
Nkhensani Chauke (41) said: “I had to run for dear life when I went to the clinic in Ntlhaveni. The hippo was always a problem for me. I was afraid of it.”
Villager James Sambo (26) got his finger cut in the frenzy when the people were cutting up the hippo.
“I was cutting the meat when I felt a knife cut my finger. I cried in pain. I had no choice but to stop cutting the meat because my life was in danger,” said James.
Thomas Chauke from SA Wildlife said: “We received a complaint from the villagers about a hippo that had been terrorising the community.
“We realised the animal was endangering the lives of the people and we had no choice but to shoot it.”