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Congo hippos may face extinction

October 22, 2006|From the Associated Press

DAKAR, SENEGAL — Hippos in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo face extinction and could be wiped out in many parts of Virunga National Park by year's end because of intense poaching by rebels, the Zoological Society of London said Saturday.

In the first two weeks of October, more than 400 hippos were slaughtered in the park, once home to one of Central Africa's greatest hippopotamus populations, the group said.

A recent survey by the conservation group showed fewer than 900 hippos in Virunga, down from 22,000 in 1988.

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