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Monday, 29 January, 2001, 23:07 GMT
Niger bans hunting
Lions (London Zoo)
Lions are under threat in Niger
The west African state of Niger has banned hunting in an effort to save its wildlife population, which includes the lion, the giraffe and the hippopotamus.

The environment ministry announced the move on Monday after local ecologists said that hunters were destroying a national treasure.

Niger's northern deserts have been popular hunting grounds for wealthy Middle Easterners, with large entourages and sophisticated weapons to track and kill the animals.


Ecologists have called the hunting trips "murderous".

The environment ministry is pressing the government to adopt a law to limit the number of hunting licences sold, Environment Minister Issoufou Assoumane told a local television station.

He said that there had been a massacre of animals over the past 10 years and that officials would be put on the alert to prevent further hunting.

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See also:

10 Jan 01 | Africa
Timeline: Niger
10 Jan 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Niger
02 Sep 00 | Middle East
Niger bills Gaddafi for hospitality
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