Escaped hippo shipped out of sewerage works

2010-07-06 13:11

A young hippo has been shipped out of a Cape Town sewerage works,

where he made his home after fleeing a nature reserve where he had clashed with

his father, an official has said.

The four-year-old nicknamed Zorro fled the Rondevlei Nature Reserve

outside Cape Town in February last year for the lush grass and abundant water of

the sewerage waterworks.

Thieves had made off with part of the reserve’s fence, creating an

opening for 1 200kg Zorro to escape. Reserve staff put up an electric fence

around 22 hectares to contain him around a water pan and baited a capture “boma”

enclosure, said Dalton Gibbs of the city’s nature conservation department.

Gibbs said: “We found him there at 3pm yesterday morning in that

capture boma, brought a transfer crate to site, loaded him into the crate and he

was in his new home in Worcester by 5pm.”

The hippo was moved to a private reserve in nearby Worcester.

Gibbs said: “The natural cycle is that the dominant male will chase

out younger males out of the herd. It’s a fairly normal process.”

The semi-aquatic animals are known to be extremely violent and can

run faster than a human on land.

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