An identified person was badly hurt by a hippopotamus in Buringa, just miles from the international airport.
According to Isanganiro, one of the media outlets in Burundi, the person was immediately rushed to hospital.
The incident happened at the fifth national road (RN5) Bujumbura-Rugombo.
Early one Thursday, it [the hippo] attacked people. It wounded one as the other managed to escape, reported witnesses.
“He was seriously wounded, immediately he was taken to health facilities in Bujumbura economic capital,” they said.
Over 10 hippopotamus live in the locality where rain and river’s water stagnated.
“They live in sandmining shafts”, said one resident of Buringa.
Human activities have threatened them throughout the country, according to experts, their burrows have been destroyed as a consequence they have to live with people.
“They were turned into houses or farmlands, or trees and bushes were erased,” said Leonidas Nzigiyimpa, environmentalist.
“People are no longer observing 150 meters of tampon zone from either forest or lake. What happens is that hippos hardly find pastures, thus the collision with people,” he said.
“When there is no buffer zone, they [hippos] graze proxy agricultural fields”.
The Rusizi reserves where Buringa is located in Western Burundi hold over 10,000 hectares which are mainly occupied by hippos.
Its number has declined. However, clear data on the number of hippos are still missing.
Despite the efforts of the rangers to protect them, they are regularly targeted by poachers or angry villagers because they destroy their fields.
On the Tanganyika Lake’s bank, hippos are observed as residents have alarmed over their security.
in the beginning of March, in Gisyo in Kanyosha (Southern Bujumbura) another hippo was reported to menace the milieu.
In other localities, in Gatumba West of Bujumbura, a hippo was killed after he failed to be rescued from a big hole.
Burundi Environment Protection authority reports that each year between 15 and 10 hippos are killed.
Authorities and environmental advocates urge people to keep 20 to 30 meters between them and the hippos’ crew.
“They must be wise and avoid attacking them”
For them, it is paramount to keep ecological balance
“Animals and humans must coexist to maintain the ecological and biological weigh,” concluded Léonidas.