Target: Stephen Mwansa, Minister of Tourism and Arts
Goal: Permanently end Zambia’s on-again off-again hippo cull.
A recent decision by Zambia’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) threatens to deliver a devastating blow to the nation’s hippo population. Authorities have decided to commence with the culling of 2,000 hippos over the span of five years despite having initially suspended it.
The DNPW has received harsh opposition both within Zambia and internationally. Culls normally occur when a population of a species is deemed unsustainable in some way and must be reduced to conserve natural resources or preserve the balance of local ecosystems. However, in this case, the DNPW has failed to provide concrete evidence that Zambia’s hippos pose a threat to the environment or themselves.
According to the Born Free Foundation, one of the primary opponents of the cull, the DNPW has not proven that the hippos are overpopulated, that current rainfall and river levels cannot sustain their current populations, or that the proposed culling methods are humane. Indeed, considering that the people designated for the killing are paid trophy hunters, it would appear that the cull is motivated by greed and profit rather than the long-term well-being of the species or the ecosystems it inhabits.
This indiscriminate culling is cruel and unnecessary and should be stopped. Show Zambia’s officials that the movement to end this cull has international support by signing below.
Dear Your Excellency Stephen Mwansa,
The Department of National Parks and Wildlife’s decision to resume the culling of Zambia’s hippos is sorely misguided and unjustified. By condoning the cull, you are condoning the unnecessary and inhumane deaths of thousands of animals that do not need to die.
A cull can sometimes be a cruel necessity for certain species when they have become severely overpopulated. Overpopulation is a serious problem and can place a heavy strain on natural resources, which then endangers other species and the overall balance of an ecosystem. However, the DNPW has failed to prove that such is the case for Zambia’s hippos. Without concrete, scientific proof the hippos are a threat to the future of their respective ecosystems, themselves, or any other species, there is absolutely no need for a cull.
I respectfully ask that you and the DNPW do what is right for the hippos and the rest of Zambia’s wildlife by terminating the hippo cull.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Brigitte Werner