This morning, a tiny news item in the Los Angeles Times caught my eye. “Congo hippies may face extinction,â€? I read to myself, thinking “wow, they still have hippies in the Congo?”
But then I realized I had misread the word “hipposâ€?. This happens to me all the time. Once, I went around telling everyone I knew that a woman had somehow got a snail up her nose without realizing it for ten years! I loved that story, until I discovered it had actually been a nail. Big deal; anyone could get a nail up their nose.
Anyway, hippos in the Democratic Republic of Congo may be wiped out very soon, due to intense poaching by rebels. In the first two weeks of October, more than 400 hippos were slaughtered in Virunga National Park, which is home to one of Central Africa’s greatest hippopotamus populations.
There are now fewer than 900 hippos in Virunga, down from 22,000 in 1988. Isn’t this shocking and sad?! I don’t want to imagine a world without hippos. Hippies I could live without, though.