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Hunting Festival Creates Animal Right Concern After Live Hippo Presentation To Nigerian Governor

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Animal rights concerns across the world may want to know of what becomes of the young live hippopotamus caught during a three day Rigatta hunting festival in Kebbi, north west Nigeria, and presented to the state governor, Nasir Idris, according to DDM’s findings.

The baby hippo, according to reports, was caught as part during a three day three days rigata festival in Yauri local government area of the state.

The head of the river guards, sarkin ruwan Gungu Sakachi village, Alhaji Kasano Sakachi, presented the live hippopotamus to the governor of Kebbi state, Idris to mark the climax of the Yauri river cultural festival rigata.

The hippo is an endangered spicies.

According to credible reports on the animal especially in their natural habitat of West Africa, there are concerns about their possible extinction on account of hunting.

Of the two remaining hippo species in the world, the pygmy hippo that inhabits the forests and wetlands of West Africa is endangered while the common hippopotamus (found mainly in sub-Saharan grasslands) is listed as vulnerable.

Historical records available to the online news portal reports that the Rigata festival started about 200 years ago as a display of naval strength of the Gungu people, where the Gungu warriors annually hunted and killed hippopotamus, considered as dangerous because they destroyed farmlands.

Warriors would board various sizes of canoes with different types of weapons to attack the animal on the River Niger.

This required expertise in canoe paddling and naval warfare. It also served as training exercise for upcoming Gungu warriors.

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Though reports also suggests that much of the hunting practice have been on the wane with activities of animal right activists, catching a live hippo and presenting as gifts to the governor is considered new.

Governor Idris has not made any statement on what becomes of the animal.

Instead, he said the festival would be an annual event.

Among dignitaries that honoured the event was the representative of Femi Gbajabiamila, chief of staff to President Bola Tinubu.

 


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