Nonkululeko, the hippo, shot dead

Animal rights activists yesterday said it was "unfortunate and sad" that Nonkululeko, the wandering hippo, was shot dead early yesterday.

The eThekwini municipality's natural resources department and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife cooperated to kill the animal.

They fired three bullets into her at Riyadh, near Verulam, at 3am.

The authorities said Nonkululeko, which means freedom, might have killed Ben Dlamini, 60, at the weekend and that was why she was put down.

They also feared that Nonkululeko posed a threat to locals, especially children in the North Coast town.

However, Animal Rights Africa spokesman Steve Smit said it was worrying that authorities had not tried to capture Nonkululeko when she went astray. - Mary Papayya