Wednesday, Jan. 05, 2011

Uganda's Hippopotamuses

In 2004, an estimated 300 hippopotamuses in Uganda's Queen Elizabeth National Park died after drinking water contaminated with anthrax. The lethal bacteria can frequently be found in the pools of stagnant water that form during Uganda's dry season. The country has suffered from occasional anthrax outbreaks since the 1950s and because of their semiaquatic nature, hippos are particularly vulnerable to contamination. That's probably why a massive kill happened again in June 2010, when 82 hippos and nine buffalo died after drinking water from Kazinga Channel, which links Lake Edward and Lake George, also in the Queen Elizabeth National Park.