Kruger National Park. August 2007. A hippo yawns at the Sweni hide near Nwanetsi. Picture: Etienne Rothbart.

Shelleng, Nigeria - An official says hunters have shot dead a hippopotamus that killed two fishermen in Nigeria's northeast.

The head of the hunters association of Adamawa State, Babangida Jimeta, said Tuesday the hunters killed the hippopotamus in the town of Shelleng on the bank of the Benue river last Sunday.

The chief of Shelleng town, Baba Ibrahim Italiya Shelleng, said the hippopotamus had killed two fishermen the day before. He said a hippopotamus from a nearby sanctuary also smashed canoes and destroyed rice fields in Shelleng and neighboring towns which depend on farming and fishing.

Conservationist Desmond Majekodunmi said such sanctuaries need to be protected so that both hippopotamuses and humans are safe.

Wildlife control authorities in Nigeria lack the equipment to neutralize animals without killing them. - Sapa-AP