During the horrendous drought of 1991/92, Karen Paolillo kept the last 13 Turgwe hippos alive. Jean-Roger Paolillo built them a cemented pan and a water trough, as the Turgwe River dried up completely. Piping was laid to the nearest borehole over 18km away in order to fill the pan and the trough.
Karen Paolillo, the founder of the Trust, personally fed these hippos an amount of just under one ton of food each night, as there was no natural grazing left in the bush. At the end of the drought they were the only hippos left alive. All others either died or moved far away, never to return.
Since that time nearly 49 hippo calves have been born. At this moment there are 21 hippos living in the Turgwe River system around Hippo Haven.
By adopting one of the hippos in the two study groups, you will help us to implement a number of projects, which will ensure the long-term well being and survival of these Turgwe hippos. Some of the projects completed to date thanks to this adoption program are:
Since year 2000, we have been heavily involved in keeping these hippos and all wildlife alive by daily patrolling the bush to remove wire snares set by poachers. Your adoption is instrumental in paying salaries for the game scouts, who help us in this anti-poaching task, as well as keeping the Trust’s vehicle on the road, and maintaining the Trust’s sand pump. Without this pump the hippos would not have pools during the dry season due to the heavy silting up of the Turgwe River. Silting is because of human encroachment on riverbanks due to crop cultivation on or near riverbanks. Or movement of domestic livestock causing erosion by overgrazing and movement to water sources.
When you adopt a Hippo you will receive via email: