News24

Drugged hippo charges at Kruger vet

2010-11-11 10:32

Mbombela - The head of veterinary services at the Kruger National Park has described how he had a narrow escape when a darted hippopotamus unexpectedly charged at him.

“Now it’s tickets for me!” was the first thought that flashed through Dr Markus Hofmeyr's mind.

The incident occurred on October 13 in a Crocodile River pool near the Crocodile Bridge camp.

Hofmeyr said they were conducting research on a chemical substance for drugging hippos.

“This hippo was the 20th one drugged with that particular substance and we hadn’t had any problems before that.”

Dazed and confused

After the tranquilising dart hit the hippo, the animal entered the shallow water. With its rear end pushed into the bushes up against the bank, the animal stood passively in the water. They were busy working on the hippo when its head suddenly dropped below the water surface.

“We suspect it got water in its nose, which stimulated it back to consciousness. The animal was very dazed and confused when it straightened up again. It snapped in our direction and then came for us.”

The hippo knocked Hofmeyr over, but Dr Nico de Bruyn of the University of Pretoria’s Mammal Research Institute grabbed him by the arm and snatched him out of the animal’s way.

“The hippo passed between us and made for the deeper water.” The animal then swung around and started moving towards them again.

Hofmeyr and De Bruyn scrambled to get out of the river. A game ranger standing guard on the bank then shot and killed the animal.

“It is regrettable that the hippo had to die, but for our safety’s sake he had to be shot.”

Research


Hofmeyr said the drug that is usually used for elephants and rhinos is too powerful to use on hippos.

“The biggest problem with darted hippos is that they usually flee into the water. Many then drown. That is why we started doing research to develop a more suitable substance specifically for hippos.

“The new drug is very effective and is definitely a breakthrough. This was the first time we experienced a problem like this.”

Hofmeyr said the dart seems not to have penetrated the thick hide of the hippo deeply enough.

“A lesson we definitely learned from the incident is to muzzle these animals in future."
 

Comments
  • jakusv - 2010-11-11 10:51

    Boerie was amper weg!

  • Zara - 2010-11-11 11:01

    .... and another poor animal dies in the name of research!

      Stryder - 2010-11-11 11:13

      Yeah, stop the research. We should just try whatever comes to mind and hope it works out.

      Zara - 2010-11-11 11:26

      ... and tell the Japs the whales are fair game too. If we can do it, why can't they?

      scott - 2010-11-12 09:41

      these are game rangers that love animals and do the research to help them survive as a whole.Are u so shortsighted?

      sakkie - 2010-11-12 14:11

      OK...so lets just rub some leaves together and dust it over the Hippo, there your fixed buddy !! It's called research for a reason...uhm lets see now, Oh Ye...to find a cure !!

      lindorsu - 2010-11-12 14:14

      The worst thing anybody can do is to express a very strong opinion on something you know very little about. Zara don't flaunt your ignorance, it's not flattering for a lady.

      Zara - 2010-11-12 14:29

      lindorsu - if you care to read on further you will see that my issue is not with the research or the researchers. My issue is with the wasted life when a study is handled in an unprofessional manner and no results are gained either way except for the hippo paying the ultimate price, which can hardly be fair, can it? Once again I ask - why, if you have a different opinion do people assume others to be ignorant or uneducated?

      DILLIGAS - 2010-11-13 10:05

      @Zara...as long as you make poorly considered comments like the one about whaling in relation to this article, people here will be left with little choice BUT to consider you a fool!

      Jan - 2010-11-15 07:30

      Research on animals in the Kruger National Park is renowned World wide in assuring the continued survival of our natural resources. Dr. Markus Hoffmeyer is the leader in his field of research and his motives are beyond questioning. Stop blabbing about the poor animal, in no way was he hurt!

  • bradleyhanc - 2010-11-11 11:44

    Is this news? It happened almost a month ago. Pretty hectic though.

  • celette.crafford - 2010-11-11 11:52

    There is something realy wrong with this picture!!! Dont they drug lions in the canned lion industry and that makes all sorts of headlines, how is this any different? So now in the name of research we are just poachers. This poor animal was dazed and confused and he acted on the little survival instinct he had left and payed with his life. And then there is this whole debate around the collared Lions shot by trophy hunters, but it is ok if the protecters do it. This story is soooo sad.

  • jp.niemandmn - 2010-11-11 11:53

    It is because of reasearch and people who are prepared toput their lives on the line for our natural environment that Southern Africa now has more wildlife than what we have had in the past 120 years, Twit. Get a life and find out what is going on in the real world of conservation.

      Zara - 2010-11-11 12:08

      No need for name calling. She is right. It's a matter of complacincy on the part of so called professionals that cost the animals it's life. Because it had worked 20 times before they doubtless dropped their guard. Look at the picture - what's the premiss? NEVER get between a hippo and the water! A layman knows this.

      GTFO - 2010-11-11 12:23

      technically we were both in the water, what did they give me!!! man i need more.

      sakkie - 2010-11-12 14:18

      @GTFO...LMAO !!!!

  • laevinia - 2010-11-11 11:54

    couldn't it just have been shot with another tranquilizer ?? remember, man's humanity and evolution is exhibited in how he/(she) treats animals.

      jp.niemandmn - 2010-11-11 12:13

      Another tranquilizer would have taken several minutes to take effect. Hippos do not listen when you tell them to "hang on for a while".

      celette.crafford - 2010-11-11 12:16

      I second that, nothing wrong with research and conservation, I am all for it. Could the drug maybe have been researched in regards to the time it takes for the hippo to wake up - in different cicumstances. Before people were put at risk and so ultimately the animal is put at risk. no need to be so agro jp.

      rory.b1979 - 2010-11-11 12:51

      I agree with jp.niemandmn. Having experienced a hippo charge personally I can say that in that moment of complete chaos (that happens incredibly quick for such a bulky animal) the ranger that shot the animal acted out of instinct. A second dart would have done nothing. Yes it is unfortunate, but at least Dr. Markus Hofmeyr is alive to tell the tale. On the other hand maybe Dr. Nico de bruyn should get some recognition, since he ultimately saved his fellow researcher in the first instance.

      jp.niemandmn - 2010-11-11 12:51

      Dear Celette, let me put it as simple as possible. 160 years ago, Africa had 108 million people. Now there is over a billion. Wildlife is confined to conservation islands by a sea of people surrounding them. This requires intensive research and environmental management to assure that bio-diversity is maintained on the continent. So why is it when people like Markus does his work, face the dangers and is lucky enough to survive that all of a sudden, environmental scientist bashing becomes the order of the day? Give these people credit for the work they are doing. They deserve it!

  • mik74 - 2010-11-11 12:30

    Wow - quite a few comments here from some pretty uninformed people. Why do some people immediately react on the word ''Research'' without knowing the facts. If it weren't for people like researchers, then how would we evolve to be able to manage our wildlife correctly?

      Viv - 2010-11-11 12:52

      Mike - if we were not a selfih species and just left the wildlife alone it woulf not have to be managed. But out superiority complex makes us think we can interfere with animals and their natrual habitat. All we are saying is that yet again these is an unneccessary animal death due to human complacancy. Wish the hippo had got a shot in before it was murdered.

      DILLIGAS - 2010-11-11 18:12

      Viv, if you had just bothered to Google Dr Marcus Hofmeyer you would have been struck by his humility and his caring where aniumals are concerned. He has done more for the well being of animals in our wonderful Kruger Park than most of the rest of the country put together so before you wish someone like him dead ("Wish the hippo had got a shot in before it was murdered.")get your facts straight. Your ignorant comments show you to have very little understanding of what someone like Hofmeyer does on a daily basis and make you appear to be another armchair activist who has never gotten her hands dirty in the struggle!! Dr Hofmeyer certainly doesn't deserve such ignorant comment!

      Viv - 2010-11-12 10:24

      Dilligas - actually I get my hands dirty every single day working with animals. Shows how ignorant you are. Dont make ass-sumptions - just shows you are an ass. I dont have to justify my comments to you, who probably sits behind a desk and doesnt get his hands dirty. You are also thick - where did I say I wanted Hofmeyer dead? Where?? Show me?? I said get a shot in i.e. a chomp on the leg etc. What kind of idiot are you to think I would ever wish someone dead - that is just sick. I deal with the selfishness and stupidity of humans every single day and see the damage they do to our animals. So get off you high horse chump.

      DILLIGAS - 2010-11-12 11:00

      VIV, Have you ever seen a hippo bite? Clearly your work with animals doesn't take in real wild animals. Not many people would survive a hippo bite to the leg, so by inference..... And I never assumed anything about you. I said "Your ignorant comments.....make you appear to be". Subtle difference but different nonetheless. Your ignorance is not in question as you commented unequivocally about something and someone you knew very little about. That is ignorant!! Dr Marcus Hofmeyer has dedicated his life to conservation of some of our most treasured beasts and without him we would not have things like TB free buffalo to name just one triumph. Call this meddling but it is meddling for the right reason, to undo what the encroachment of man has brought on a n undeserving species. So before you slander someones character with words like "superiority complex", "interfere" and "complacency" you should do some research into that person, which you seem still not to have done!! I rest my case

      Nebula - 2010-11-12 14:38

      Dilligas whats up with Viv... ithink Viv needs to get drugged and if (s)he charges at us we shot and kill to DEATH

      Bruce - 2010-11-13 09:31

      Viv, I have to say you are a very sad person. In a perfect world animals would be left alone in their own habitat. But unfortunately, this is not a perfect world! So people like Dr Hofmeyer are desperately needed to look after the interests of our wildlife. Sure this hippo was killed, but how many hippos have been saved due to Dr Hofmeyer's hard work. Just remember one thing Viv ... a human life is irreplaceable and if left with a choice, as the other vet on the bank was, the hippo had to die. Sad but true!

  • tyrelf - 2010-11-11 12:34

    The hippo would have been drugged to allow for its vital statistics to be collected ie parasite load, any disease, blood sampling for genetic work etc. In parks all this work is necessary otherwise your entire hippo population could die out (in the case of disease) or become weaker through constant inbreeding (as they are confined to areas of safety (ie parks)and cannot move to other areas). Once it has recovered it is than it is left to get on with its day. So I do not see how this is like canned lion hunting. As for getting between a hippo and the water - how else do you propose they get the data? It is sad that the hippo had to be shot but the work is required to ensure the continuation of the species. Finally another tranquilliser would have likely killed the hippo - either through an overdose or from drowning as the hippo passes out in deep water. Please consider the facts before criticising people who did not go into industry to make a fortune but instead have dedicated their lives to trying to safe Africa's wildlife.

  • tyrelf - 2010-11-11 12:35

    The hippo would have been drugged to allow for its vital statistics to be collected ie parasite load, any disease, blood sampling for genetic work etc. In parks all this work is necessary otherwise your entire hippo population could die out (in the case of disease) or become weaker through constant inbreeding (as they are confined to areas of safety (ie parks)and cannot move to other areas). Once it has recovered it is than it is left to get on with its day. So I do not see how this is like canned lion hunting. As for getting between a hippo and the water - how else do you propose they get the data? It is sad that the hippo had to be shot but the work is required to ensure the continuation of the species. Finally another tranquilliser would have likely killed the hippo - either through an overdose or from drowning as the hippo passes out in deep water. Please consider the facts before criticising people who did not go into industry to make a fortune but instead have dedicated their lives to trying to safe Africa's wildlife.

  • tyrelf - 2010-11-11 12:38

    The hippo would have been drugged to allow for its vital statistics to be collected ie parasite load, any disease, blood sampling for genetic work etc. In parks all this work is necessary otherwise your entire hippo population could die out (in the case of disease) or become weaker through constant inbreeding (as they are confined to areas of safety (ie parks)and cannot move to other areas). Once it has recovered it is than it is left to get on with its day. So I do not see how this is like canned lion hunting. As for getting between a hippo and the water - how else do you propose they get the data? It is sad that the hippo had to be shot but the work is required to ensure the continuation of the species. Finally another tranquilliser would have likely killed the hippo - either through an overdose or from drowning as the hippo passes out in deep water. Please consider the facts before criticising people who did not go into industry to make a fortune but instead have dedicated their lives to trying to safe Africa's wildlife.

  • Viv - 2010-11-11 12:48

    Yet another animal murdered due to human stupidity. Whe will this cr@p stop. The hippos was minding its own business when the stupid human decided to bother it and then murder it. How I hate being human sometimes

      rory.b1979 - 2010-11-11 13:22

      Viv do yourself a favour and read tyrelf's response above. Cant believe you live in such a narrow minded world *tsk*

      fishycraig - 2010-11-11 13:45

      Viv... These scientists didn't sit around a braai, have a few beers and think to themselves, "I'm bored, lets go dart a few hippos for fun." Read the article and you will see that they were trying out a new drug specifically for hippos. And why do they have to do research on the hippos and other animals in the park? Because the Kruger Park, however large it is, is not a self-contained area not a 100% natural habitat. The pollutants from the paper mills upstream in Nelspruit contaminate the Crocodile River - making paper that you and I and everyone else uses. Irrigation for the fruit farms in the area and the residual effects of pesticides and fertilizers affects this river - again, the fruit you and I eat. Raw sewerage flowing in from neighbouring areas... the list goes on. It would be a lovely idea to let nature just take its course but there are simply too many outside influences dictating here. And to suggest that the hippo should have "got a shot in" is a pretty pointless statement. These scientists are doing a whole lot more for nature conservation than most people.

      fishycraig - 2010-11-11 13:55

      Viv... These scientists didn't sit around a braai and think to themselves, "I'm bored, lets go dart a few hippos for fun." Read the article and you will see that they were trying out a new drug specifically for hippos. And why do they have to do research on the hippos and other animals in the park? Because the Kruger Park, however large it is, is not a self-contained area nor a 100% natural habitat. The pollutants from the paper mills upstream in Nelspruit contaminate the Crocodile River - making paper that you and I and everyone else uses. Irrigation for the fruit farms in the area and the residual effects of pesticides and fertilizers affects this river - again, the fruit you and I eat. Raw sewerage flowing in from neighbouring areas... the list goes on. It would be a lovely idea to let nature just take its course but there are simply too many outside influences dictating here. And to suggest that the hippo should have "got a shot in" is a pretty pointless statement. These scientists are doing a whole lot more for nature conservation than you.

      rory.b1979 - 2010-11-12 08:31

      The silence from Viv is deafening....

      Viv - 2010-11-12 10:30

      Um - Rory the silence is deafening because I am actually doing my job which apparently you are not as you can comment here all day. I work with animals every single day so dont come and give me your pathetic comments here. I see the destruction that we humans inflict on animals every single day so excuse me for expressing my exasperation that yet again another animal has been killed because us humans decided we needed to test something out. I am all for animal conservation - if I didnt give a cr@p I would not be in the job that I am. You are fishcraig who sit behind your little desks doing your little jobs should maybe think about getting out there and doing something for our animlas instead of posting little $hitty comments no-one give a cr@p about. Narrow minded - please son, pick a finger. Until you have had to put the 10th animal to sleep on 1 single day because of humans then come and talk to me again. And those are not just domestic animals - that includes wild ones too.

      Dawie - 2010-11-12 10:41

      Viv we are aslo unhappy with you being human.....why dont we go and put you into the zoo at pretoria....we will even put up a sign that says " please feed the animals"

      Zara - 2010-11-12 12:47

      A totally inane comment Dawie!

      Nebula - 2010-11-12 14:42

      We should drug Viv dont you think... and shoot when s(he) charges...

      Zara - 2010-11-12 14:57

      Nebula must go to Jeppe High.

      fishycraig - 2010-11-12 15:47

      Viv, attack the points - not the people making them. You have no idea what I do for a living and the hours I put into nature conservation - as you don't know the others making comments on here. Read and reread Dilligas, Tyrelf, mik74, Matthew and my comments again. We are not advocating wanton killing of hippos. But we do know that research involves going into the field and exposure to wild animals who will feel rocks eating a human. I personally have had many hours spent on foot in the Kruger doing projects. And if a lion charged me? What do you advocate? I lay my life down for the greater good? I love lions but I have to say I would shoot. Yes, I am in his territory but... And I am sure putting down 10 dogs a day (love the irony there) has left you with a jaundiced view of people killing animals - but these guys are achieving more for nature conservation than you will ever know. Save your rhetoric for rhino poachers. Or those poachers down in KZN who slaughtered dozens of hippos. Or are they not as fashionable to attack?

      DILLIGAS - 2010-11-12 22:06

      @Fishycraig..Beautifully put, boet!

      fishycraig - 2010-11-12 22:50

      Thanks DILLIGAS.

  • fishycraig - 2010-11-11 12:50

    To all you out there criticizing the SANParks officials - where are you? What are you doing for nature conservation? Are you out there everyday in the sweltering heat of the Lowveld? These scientists are out there conserving our wildlife and "mistakes" do happen. Like he said, they now know to muzzle the animals beforehand. Basically everything we learn about handling wild animals comes in a trial-and-error manner. It is a hard life out there and the people working with wild animals risk their lives EVERYDAY! To liken these scientists to the Japanese whalers is simply ludicrous. They actively go out to kill whales in the "name of science".

      marianne.klint1 - 2010-11-11 13:25

      agreed !! Thank you for having the right words !

  • Michele Klemp - 2010-11-11 13:16

    so sad!

  • mik74 - 2010-11-11 14:04

    Fishycraig and Tyrelf said it like it is. Thank you for standing up for people who try to do good, but keep on getting slated! And personally, I think the majority of the time, the people that actually have the biggest mouths, with the most negative comments, are the so-called ''armchair liberals''. It doesn't necessarily make a difference by joining groups on social sites like Facebook, and then feeling you have the right to make uneducated comments. You actually have to go out there and make a difference. Just like us researchers are doing, or trying to do.

      siren703 - 2010-11-11 15:01

      Mik24 you are so correct in labelling people like myself as armchair liberals’. To true is your point about us joining all these groups and signing endless petitions but what good really comes of it?! What difference am I making, just getting worked up about the atrocities committed against animals is so frustrating because i know that i’m not actually doing anything to help. Hats off to those that are out there trying to preserve our wildlife. So what can I as an individual physically do to help, I really am passionate about animals and about protecting them but feel like all I can do is rant about it, any suggestions?? (my local SPCA doesn't even take on volunteers, which is pathetic cos they can surely do with some help)

      mik74 - 2010-11-11 15:35

      It brings awareness to a lot of people joining these groups, so they aren't all bad. And people like you need to be applauded because it isn't for lack of trying that you aren't doing your bit. I rant as well, although luckily, I am doing a share and trying to make people aware of the need for research. If you are in the JHB area, try free-me. They have a great volunteer programme. Otherwise organisations like Wetnose animal rescue, or even Claw (which is the community led animal welfare organisation). Thanks for you comment :)

      mik74 - 2010-11-11 15:51

      Sorry, I replied, but it didn't appear to post. There is no harm in joining the groups on social sites, but occasionally, that is all people do and then have the nerve to criticise people who are trying to do good. You on the other hand - the fact that you have tried to make a difference is more than most people can ever attest to. So good for you. If you live in the JHB area, you should try Free Me because they have a great volunteer programme. Or else places like Wetnose animal rescue, and Claw (Community Led Animal Welfare). I also rant, and am just as passionate about animals like a lot of people out there, thankfully, but it just irritates me that when you actually try and make a difference, there are still the people who choose to pass comment about things they know nothing about. Thanks for the comment.

      siren703 - 2010-11-11 16:29

      thanks!

      fishycraig - 2010-11-12 22:47

      Siren703... You might want to try the Honorary Rangers as well - there is a region everywhere and they work hand in hand with the parks.

  • celette.crafford - 2010-11-11 14:09

    JP and fishycraig I do take your point and maybe I shouldnt have reacted so strongly. And yes it is a miracle that the men are all still alive, and yes they did say that they learned from the experience. So you are right. And coming from a background that does not understand all that happens in conservation I was way to harsh. I apologise. It is though, incredibly sad for the Hippo.

      tyrelf - 2010-11-11 16:10

      Cellette, I think you have hit on a very critical point. The people involved in conservation are , in many cases, very poor about conveying what they do, how the do it and why. I think this has resulted in the general public having only a partial understanding about how conservation works. I think this stems from the fact that many involved are not "people" persons - I have met quite a few who would never make it into advertising / marketing / find public appearance uncomfortable, as they lack the social skills for those fields. The problem is how to convey this message to the public effectively, especially on a tight budget when your options are : either the saving of an animal or public advertising. I think most people would chose the saving of the animal first. Yes, it is very sad for the hippo and I am sure the people involved did not take it lightly.

  • Zara - 2010-11-11 14:13

    Nobody is critisising research. Of course it is commendable if done in a scientific and correct manner, and not at the expense of any life - be it animal or human. What was learnt out of this? Nothing! They have no idea why the drug did not work on this particular hippo now and are left guessing. And when does research become interference?

      mik74 - 2010-11-11 14:20

      But Zara, you were. Your first comment alluded to it did it not? And they did learn something, and have a suspicion that the water stimulated it back to consciousness. At least they are using different drugs to ones that they know are too strong for a hippo. Trying to get the dosage right for an animal, just like an anaesthetic on a human, is not an easy job. Emotions are just as high for the person that has to kill the animal, or when you lose an animal because something goes wrong. Don't be so quick to criticise.

      Zara - 2010-11-11 14:29

      Research done under un-scientific criteria is not research. 'nuf said.

      mik74 - 2010-11-11 14:43

      Hmmmm un-scientific research? Another bold statement, and highly uneducated. Do yourself a favour and go to the SANparks website and have a look at Scientific Services or the Vets. And yes, nuf said. A person who is going to sit there and pass unjust comments is not even worth trying to convince otherwise.

      Zara - 2010-11-11 14:54

      oooooooo! Nothing like a lively debate to cheer things up on a boring afternoon when you should be working! :-) Why you taking it so personally mik? You work for "conservationists"? I took your advice and went to the website. Nothing much there about their research (in the limited time I had to scan it). We are all entitled to our opinions. Personally I have a problem with "conservationists" that condone the killing of animals.

      Zara - 2010-11-11 15:01

      ooooo! Nothing like a good debate when you should be working! :-) Why you taking it so personally mik? We are all entitled to our opinions. Personally I have a problem with "conservationists" that condone the killing of animals.

      mik74 - 2010-11-11 15:31

      Zara, please. I'm not taking this personally at all. And we are definitely all allowed to express our opinions. But when they are unfounded, and wrong, and altogether missing the point of what the research is about, then I have a problem with it. The fact that an animal died in this whole exercise was sad. No one has condoned it on here. And no, I don't ''work for'' conservationists - I am one.

      kappie - 2010-11-12 09:40

      Wow thats not a very educated comment!you must have no idea what you talking about! Anywoo just to irritate you I'll make the following statement "Hunting is the best concervation tool in Africa!"

      scott - 2010-11-12 09:50

      lol. keep talking.How uneducated you are!? hopefully you will learn a few things on here and it will quieten you down.....

      benviljoen - 2010-11-19 17:38

      seriously Zara, did you even read the article? They did learn something, and they have a reasonable idea of what went wrong. Also, did you manage to catch why they are even testing a new drug? Oh yes, to SAVE hippos as the other drugs tend to kill them... Also, although I'm no doctor or statistician, but I'm pretty sure that human beings gave their life for the research that went into the cancer/aids/TB/malaria/whatever treatment that you will be grateful for one day when you are busy dying.

  • Matthew - 2010-11-11 15:18

    If you people knew anything about nature conservation then you would understand that these things are done with the sole purpose of protecting future generations of wildlife. Trophy hunting brings in huge amounts of revenue for the conservation industry and is in my opinion absolutely neccessary. One hippo has died but many other hippo's will benifit from this death thanks to the research done with these new drugs. Many thousands of people have died in airplane crashes but millions of other people are travelling safely by air thanks to their unfortunate deaths. Think logically people!

      Zara - 2010-11-11 15:32

      are you being serious? We choose to fly. I very much doubt the hippo chose to be subject of an experiment that went horribly wrong!

      tyrelf - 2010-11-11 16:18

      Zara, I am sure the hippos do not chose to be confined to small areas when only 400 years ago they could move to where ever they pleased. Research how much money has been spent on moving rhinos around the country for breeding programs - all because people get in the way. Animal populations, thanks to human occupation of their spaces, have to be managed nowdays as the parks are too small. The only way to have no interference from people, is for there to be very few people and no fixed infrastructure (such as roads, fences, buildings, farmlands, railway tracks) all of which prevent animals moving freely about the country.

  • gamegard - 2010-11-11 15:36

    All in the name of preservation??? Why does the animal have to die??

  • kappie - 2010-11-12 08:52

    Dr Nico used to be one of my zoology profs, wow hes an awesome guy.He actually lost an eye doing hes work! wonder what you idiots have sacrifices for nature?? you Greenie-idiots have no Idea what you talking about! We live for this, and have saved many more animal lives than all you idiots living in the city moaning,we need to sacrifice some to save thousands!And if you cant live with that stop using medicine and any other biological products!I doubt you know how they test any of the medicine that save your lives!Like one of my profs used to say "The greenies will love these animals to death"

      Sma - 2010-11-14 06:33

      Dr Nico chose this field, like soldiers who die in combat. stop the name calling. People are entitled to their opinion. Can we respect dat

  • nelia.blumrick - 2010-11-12 11:25

    How can you call yourself a vet, who is suppose to look after the welfare of animals? This is a completely and unnecessary death for an animal! If he was dazed and confused, he would probably not have lasted long in his attack, in any case. The whole experiment sounds completely pointless and irrisponsible. Animals will never attack if they do not feel threatend. Any "educated" person like a vet should know better! Sick of hearing about stories like this. Shame on you!

      Zara - 2010-11-12 12:19

      Same kind of vet that thinks Rhino poaching is a good source of income.

      DILLIGAS - 2010-11-13 09:56

      @nelia.blumrick.."The whole experiment sounds completely pointless and irrisponsible" On what evidence in this article do you base this? Wild Vets have so much work to do they do NOT have time to do pointless work!! It is well known that Hippos are very susceptible to anaesthesia and in trying to develop a gentler tranquiliser to save MORE of these animals one has tragically died. No one will be more gutted than Marcus Hoffmeyer over the death of this animal. Shame on you for denegrating the work these selfless people do for our wildlife population! Shame on you for being sick of READING stories like this. While you only read it (and pass sanctimonious judgement), people like Hofmeyer have to LIVE it!!

  • Zara - 2010-11-12 11:39

    Seem to have stirred up some emotions here! Why is it that if someone does not agree with your opinion they are un-educated? And for the record I am not anti-hunting per se, so if your comment was aimed at me kappie then you will have to try again.

      kappie - 2010-11-12 19:14

      yes its sure to stirr some emotions if its someone elses passion and love!Well if absolute crap is the only think that comes out of ones mouth then people tend to think you are uneducated or just verryyy verrryyy slow learner!but every1 sure to have an opinion it just looses value after a while.but who knows maybe you also studied years to be a vet!enjoy

  • Greegs - 2010-11-12 11:59

    Shame, poor animal!

  • Megan - 2010-11-12 12:16

    Yet another animal has to die in the name of so called "reseach". I am so sick and tired of the animals having to suffer because us humans cannot do things properly. Its reaction was totally natural, and it gets punished for that.

      puushona - 2010-11-12 12:53

      who was supposed to be shot, the researcher or the hippo? the researcher was supposed to be shot simply because he entered hippo's territory an i think hippo was acting on self defense.

      Gary - 2010-11-12 16:43

      Megan and Zara. No one likes to see animals die unnecessarily but in this case the research was legitimate and the death of the hippo an unfortunate accident. The fact is that because nature reserves are islands of conservation, as a result of over-population and human greed, they have to be managed and cannot be left alone. It is a fact that the smaller an area is the lower its biodiversity becomes. That is why an island like borneo has greater biodiversity than a smaller island in Indonesia. If areas are not managed, the imbalance caused by human activity leads to damage to the general ecosystem e.g. too many elephants eventually destroy the plant life and cause massive erosion, which in turn affects many other creatures. In the USA people don't want wolves, bears, cougars or any other predator but the deer population is threatening the oak trees which are declining because of over-browsing of oak seedlings. It is right to protect animals but wrong to criticise in this case.

  • Amy - 2010-11-12 12:58

    Live and LET Live!!!!!!!!!!

  • Amy - 2010-11-12 13:01

    Live and LET Live!!!!!!!

  • Berendien - 2010-11-12 15:08

    Professional researchers like yourselves are a wonderful gift to South Africa, you keep our wildlife flourishing and South Africa a leader in conservation. You are brave and the it is obvious that you will put your life on the line for one another and for our precious wildlife. Unpredictable things happen everywhere and in any circumstances but the way you put your life on the line for the sake of conserving our wildlife takes my breath away. Brave beyond words!

  • John5067 - 2010-11-13 09:58

    Sad to read that the poor animal had to be destroyed. All we can hope for that the hippo did not suffer and did not die in vain as am sure these guy will learn from the experience and mistakes made which will result in the saviour and survival of many hippos in the future in thier natural habbitat with no impact from humans except for protection.

  • Villavista - 2010-11-14 07:30

    Wow this was to close for comfort..!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Public - 2011-01-13 08:14

    All I am hearing is bunch of fat hill billy sofa reclining gitts complaining about people "conserving" nature. These guys bust their asses to hear you lot complain- get a JOB!! Sometimes things go wrong- if you look at any medical procedure (historically) you will see lots of blunders in the past.

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