News

Landé Willemse
1 minute read
13 Dec 2019
9:13 am

‘Mysterious’ death of pod of hippos in Kruger Park being investigated

Landé Willemse

A few years ago, state veterinarians managed to confirm the cause of death of a number of animals that occurred in the Crocodile Bridge section of the park.

Photo: Latest Sightings – Kruger

The mysterious death of 10 hippos in the Crocodile River close to Leopard Creek will be investigated, said Reynold Thakhuli, acting head of communications at SANParks.

Thakhuli confirmed that a Malalane section ranger discovered the carcasses a few days ago, reports Lowvelder.

“Veterinarians and scientists were flown to the site to investigate and compile necropsy reports,” Thakhuli added.

He said water samples were taken, and that samples from fish that died had also been taken. Blood samples from the dead hippos were also drawn.

“No effort will be spared to get to the bottom of this problem.”

A few years ago, state veterinarians managed to confirm the cause of death of a number of animals that occurred in the Crocodile Bridge section of the park. These included at least 52 animals, including lions, cheetahs and seven white rhinos.

Inspection of the dams at the time revealed green scum on the surface of the water, and further tests confirmed that blue-green algae – known as Microcystis – was the main reason for the discoloured water.

One of the oldest known organisms on earth, blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, were the first green plants on earth and are found in most water bodies in low numbers.

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