DAR ES SALAAM, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Friday ordered the country's conservation authorities to ensure that hippopotami straying from the Katavi National Park in search of water were fully protected from killers.
He made the order when he addressed a gathering at Kapuni village in Tanganyika district, Katavi region, following reports that hippos that strayed from the park in search of water were being killed by villagers.
In his brief address broadcast live by state-run Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation, Magufuli ordered the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) to build water dams in the park for the hippos.
On Thursday, Katavi region authorities had told the president that some of the hippos from the park covering about 4,471 square kilometers and making the third largest national park in Tanzania, have sought shelter in a dam earmarked for domestic use.
"The 50 hippos that have sought sanctuary in a dam earmarked for domestic use are very smart. TANAPA should construct dams in the park and send the hippos back," said the head of state.
Katavi National Park's flood plains of thick reeds and dense waterways are home to about 500 hippos and crocodiles.
However, during annual dry season the floodplains form mudholes that distress hundreds of the hippos forcing them to run away in search of water.