File photo: Leon Lestrade

Johannesburg - A hippopotamus has been shot dead because he posed a threat to residents of villages near a mining area in Barberton near Nelspruit, the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) said on Tuesday.

The hippo was “put down” on Friday, MPTA CEO Jacques Modipane said.

“It put the community at risk so they had no choice but to put it down.”

He said the animal had been chased out of the hippo-infested Noordkop River near Kaapmuiden along the N4.

“The bull was chased out of the river... then the community spotted him.”

Modipane said the options were to dart the hippo or to put him down.

MPTA officials could not dart as he would have drowned in the water, he said. - Sapa