'Solly' the hippo died of suspected heart attack

2012-08-24 13:03

Johannesburg - A young hippopotamus who got stuck in the swimming pool of a Limpopo game lodge died on Friday morning, the lodge manager said.

The hippo, named "Solly" after one of his caregivers, died at about 11:00 before he could be rescued, Monate Conservation Lodge manager Ruby Ferreira said.

She said Solly was acting differently on Friday morning.

"He was not as perky this morning [Friday], more agitated, like he was irritated. I think because he wanted to get out of the pool. That's my personal opinion."

She said there had been plans to get Solly out of the pool, but veterinarians had not arrived yet.

"We've been waiting for the vets and I think they were just a bit too late."

Sensitive creatures

Ferreira said hippos were sensitive creatures and Solly was no different. His stress level had probably been rising since being forced from his group, called a pod, on Tuesday, resulting in him taking shelter in the pool.

Once in the 2.4m deep pool he could not get out, likely adding to his stress.

"It all just added up and added up," Ferreira said.

While the lodge worked to care for the animal, there was no getting away from the fact that the pool was not a natural environment for Solly.

"Although we looked after him, it was an unnatural environment for him. We are really sad at this lodge today," Ferreira said.

Tragic story

"It started out as a happy story and now it's a tragic story. It's devastating."

An hour later after Solly's death, a twitter account set up in his name, @Modimollehippo, changed its name to "Ghost Modimolle Hippo" and sent out two tweets.

--"Sorry everyone - it was too much for me. *sings* Don't cry for me Modimolle....."

--"I hope there is a suitably impressive wake for me. Don't let the pool party stop!"

On Thursday, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said a team was preparing to sedate the hippo and lift it from the pool using a crane.

Spokesperson Isabel Wentzel said the animal would have been taken to another location.

"He was pushed out of the family because another baby was born. The older ones do not tolerate him anymore."

  • brett.bruce.121 - 2012-08-24 13:08

    He got stuck in the pool on Tuesday, today is Friday. How long does it take for a vet to arrive?

      Jason - 2012-08-24 13:11

      Brett also you see people casually standing next to the pool, all of this adds to his stress levels. It was not well handled!

      mihaip007 - 2012-08-24 13:43

      it's like the limpopo saga's: a lot of planning, but everything takes too long to be done or not at all, and then? In this case that poor hippo died! In the normal cases, the education dies, the dignity of each person dies (toilet and all), etc etc...

      mbonyathi - 2012-08-24 15:35

      why not demolish the pool

      nicholas.graan - 2012-08-24 16:09

      Now they say all the people who were crowding around to watch the rescue would have added to his stress, really? Why then was it allowed?? surely they had enough time to plan this properly and this would also have been a consideration? It really pi**es me off.

      gretchen.oswald.3 - 2012-08-24 20:17

      Thank you- No excuses. The idiot has no excuse, yet he is quite content in saying that he doesnt feel bad or guilty. His Vets lisence should be discarded and he should go to prison!!!!

  • liz.dick1 - 2012-08-24 13:16

    Why were the vets late? Wasn't it urgent enough?

  • carolyn.dewrance - 2012-08-24 13:31

    And if you call that a swimming pool I hope your guests never have to swim in there, time to fill in the area and create a memorial to Solly.

      Jason - 2012-08-24 14:19

      I seriously hope your comment was tongue in cheek! Create a memorial to Solly?? A bird flew into my window and died............maybe I should brick it up and create a memorial to the poor feathered friend?

  • UNITY - 2012-08-24 13:31

    Agree.. Even a human wouldn't last that long, unattended to, why should Solly ? The whole lack of urgency to attend to the hippo, time it took to realise that the water could be drained without drowning the animal,then darting, and getting out with a crane...was such a thought process,and time consuming to implement. Oh well, I guess its back to save the Rhino, that is more important!cos there is more awareness and funding there!!!things will move faster where there is more money involved!

  • faizieishlah.shabalala - 2012-08-24 13:32

    We stone kids to death. Hohum another animal dies, shame

      brendon.lucas.96 - 2012-08-24 14:55

      Listen you. You do not know what you are talking about. It is not just another animal, this is an animal that touched lives. So please take your silly comments to another place, a place that does not involve people who care.

      Jane - 2012-08-24 15:35

      Dont be an idiot Faizieishlah, its because of heartless people like you that the world is in the state it is in. Do you honestly think that the people on here dont care about children aswell. Caring, loving human beings, care about EVERYTHING, people, animals, the enviroment. Get some humanity!

      gretchen.oswald.3 - 2012-08-24 20:35

      Yes Shame........because WE are the cause of animal cruelty as well as kids being stoned to death. Children are innocent, but so are animals who rely on humans- and what do we do--- we F... it all up. Flippen disgrace.

  • shelley.vorster.9 - 2012-08-24 13:37

    They waited too long to drain the pool - A fire fighter on 702 on Wednesday already said to drain the pool as it will only take 30 min to drain a 50 thousand ltr pool with two fire trucks.... My heart goes to him

  • duanedrop - 2012-08-24 13:42

    Seriously South Africa! How asleep are our corporates. Surely a company could have stepped in, gotten massive mileage out of a rescue campaign. Imaging what cadbury's chomp could have done if they wern't fast asleep. It's high time that corprates step out of their BBBEE Fights and start helping the country with all their profits! It's a win-win if they think outside the box. Teusday it's reported friday nothing is done, What the fudge is going on in Limpopo?!

  • Gcwabe.KaMavovo - 2012-08-24 13:50

    Too many Chomps will do that...

  • fanie.dutoit2 - 2012-08-24 13:55

    Clearly most of you have not been involved in such a rescue. It is not just a matter of emptying the pool and the hippo walks out. There are much more at stake. Also a crane is not just around the corner in the rural area, and it does not take 10 mnutes to get one out there in 10 minutes. I would have loved to have this hippo on my farm and is very sad that he did not make it. But the impression that you are creating that nothing has been done is just not true.

      duanedrop - 2012-08-24 14:09

      I wouldnt want to say nothign was done, the point is the sense of urgency. If say a company/sponsor came forward, threw a bunch of money, expertise and rescources at the problem then I would say, yes it could have been sorted out in "10 minutes" (not literally but not 4 days) rather than the backward too-ing and fro-ing that occurred with no clear leadership or sense of urgency! Is this the first time in the history of the plannet that a big animal has got stuck in a pool.... Has Limpopo heard of the Internet!

  • bernadine.gregory - 2012-08-24 13:56

    The plight of this poor animal was on the news, could someone not have stepped in sooner? And BIG question - where was the vet??? maybe if the vet had been on time, the poor animal would still be alive now....

  • jan.human - 2012-08-24 13:59

    RIP...May there be no pools in Hippo heavan....

  • tebo.go.5 - 2012-08-24 13:59

    Ï think Malema must also intervene, this is cruelty

      gretchen.oswald.3 - 2012-08-24 20:42

      Yea its Malemas territory and he usually gets an audience when he says something- but sad to say, he doesnt like humans so I doubt he likes animals!!! And these days he has lost his fame and popularity, so dont think his voice or opinion will work.

  • roodbol - 2012-08-24 14:09

    Why did the vets wait so looooong? FOUR days, with all the media hype and attention... FOUR days! What an extremely sad end!

  • gaeleen - 2012-08-24 14:33

    Disgusting - no vet 3 days later - why did they not break a wall of the pool and let him out - hope the lodge is banned from "caring" for any other animals!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      bradley.nienaber - 2012-08-25 08:36

      You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about! The lodge management are good family friends of mine! They did everything they could to help Solly. If the vet had arrived on time and not 4 hours late, things may have been better! To say that the lodge should not be allowed to care for any animals is insane. Go to Monate and see the work that they do for animals before you pass stupid comments like that!!!

  • Salmon.Beverley - 2012-08-24 15:08

    SICK SICK Beeld - why put the photo of the dead baby hippo on News 24 - you are indeed idiots!

  • loandri.olivier.1 - 2012-08-24 15:32

    Question...Why the hell did it take them THREE days to get to the hippo? I believe the word is SLAPGAT in afrikaans. If I find a hippo in my pool instead of creating a silly twitter page, I would get help to get him out the next day. The other question is...why isnt the swimming pool closed in the first place. This turned out bad because a bunch of people that would rather feed a wild hippo than pick up the phone and call asap. He couldve been out by wednesday or thursday already

  • goempie.eend - 2012-08-24 15:33


  • adriana.gebhardt.33 - 2012-08-24 16:15

    Really sad about this :(

  • AKCoulson - 2012-08-24 16:52

    It took rescue workers 3 hours to get Lucy the Giraffe out of the swimming pool (google lucy the giraffe on utube and watch it). Cannot understand why it took this lot 4 days to get Solly out the pool... maybe they thought it was cool to have him there - not normal?

  • dnxumalo2 - 2012-08-24 18:48

    Boo hoo who gives the damn thers people who died too.just shut up and enjoy some meat.

      gretchen.oswald.3 - 2012-08-24 20:31

      We dont eat Hippo meat, and enjoy it if you do. Point is Dumbo (or whatever your name is), is that PEOPLE are the cause for OTHER PEOPLE dying PLUS people are the cause of innocent animals dying. I am not a vegetarian by the way, but hate animal cruely. Unfortunatly in Afirca ALL LIVING things are regarsed as nothng.........ever thought of that??? Yes, think again and THEN you will realise why "thers people who died too".

      dnxumalo2 - 2012-08-25 07:58

      you just wait till a hippo cuts your ass in half one people have a tendency to think of animals as doesnt matter to me if some lion decides to catch a wildebeast or a hyena caught what today.that crap is outside my business i have better things to wory about.if this hippo jumped and killed a human while they were trying to save it you would still cry the same pathetic tear you lousy dreamer.

      brendon.lucas.96 - 2012-08-30 21:44

      Hi, I grew up on a farm, and yes to an certain point you are speaking the truth, the problem is that if the Hippo dies in a river it would be natural, this was something that was not supose to happen. And why do you leave a comment if do not care, most people here do, so pls go and find something better to do, people like you only think for themselves. Did you not listen in Gr1 when they said if you don't have anything nice to say, keep it to yourself?

  • gretchen.oswald.3 - 2012-08-24 20:14

    What the hell is happening in this country (and around the world)? People kill other people, then people kill innocent animals, and now our so called vets are THE CAUSE of poor creatures having to suffer and dieing slowly. I can promise you that if that was a Docter, he would have recieved life in prison! Guys and guls, when are we going to see some justice done towards those who are to be blamed for animal cruelty!!!

  • gretchen.oswald.3 - 2012-08-24 20:24

    Modimolle, Vet Lewis, is worse than a murderer......he is the equivelent of a mad manipulating killer and very proud of it. Not arriving on time and allowing this poor Hippo to SUFFER till its last kick in 30 degrees!!!!!! I hope you go to jail, you are a disgrace and have shown no remorse what so ever.

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