At least 28 hippopotamuses were found dead in a national park in southwestern Ethiopia, local media reported on Monday.
FANA, Ethiopia’s local broadcaster, said that the hippos died in the Gibe Sheleko National Park, which lies on part of the Gibe River, the largest tributary of the Omo River in southwestern Ethiopia.
Baherua Mega, Head of the Park, said 15 of the hippos died on Sunday April 21st, whilst the others had perished since the previous Sunday, April 14th. Adding that “The elder hippos constitute the majority of the dead.”
“There have been illegal activities threatening the existence of the park,” Mega said, adding people have been cutting trees and using patches of land for settlements within the park.
The 36,000 square kilometer (around 13,900 square miles) park is located at 250 km southwest of the capital Addis Ababa.
According to Mega, experts are investigating the cause of the sudden hippo deaths.
Earlier this month, 10 buffalos were left dead in Kenya following a breakout of anthrax at one of its national parks.