Wild Hippo Attacks on Cattle in Janjanbureh Raise Concerns for Local Livelihoods
By: Dawda Baldeh
The island of Janjanbureh, nestled in the Central River Region, recently experienced a terrifying incident as wild hippos attacked a cattle herd, resulting in the loss of several cows and severe injuries to dozens of calves. The affected livestock belonged to Mama Koiyo Kandeh, a resident of Janjanbureh.
Janjanbureh is not only known for its picturesque landscapes but also carries historical significance as a key location in the dark chapter of the slave trade, attracting tourists seeking to delve into the past. However, the tranquillity of the island is periodically disrupted by wildlife conflicts, particularly involving wild hippos.
Over the years, cattle herders on the island have reported multiple encounters with aggressive hippos. Kandeh, who recently suffered the loss of some of his cattle, voiced his concerns about the escalating frequency of such incidents. Prior to attacking his herd, the hippos had already claimed the life of a cow from a different herd.
Kandeh’s previous encounter with a hippo attack two years ago led him to report the matter to Mr. Jobarteh, an official from the Department of Wildlife, who promptly visited the site, documented the incident, and assessed the damage. Kandeh emphasized that Janjanbureh is home to a considerable hippo population that often roams the island at night, targeting domestic animals, particularly cows. “The extent of damage caused by these hippos is substantial,” Kandeh lamented.
Kandeh fervently called for decisive action to prevent further hippo attacks, citing the significant economic and emotional toll they take on the local community. He also drew attention to the peril posed by other island inhabitants, such as snakes, which further compound the risks faced by herders who need to tend to their cattle during the night.
In an impassioned appeal to the government, Kandeh underscored the crucial role cattle play in the livelihoods of the island’s residents, urging immediate assistance to address the pressing issue of hippo attacks. “Regrettably, the injured calves face an uncertain fate, as their wounds are severe and potentially life-threatening,” he concluded, highlighting the urgent need for intervention to protect both the island’s precious cattle and the wellbeing of its residents.
Source the fatu network