Search continues for runaway hippo

2018-02-06 13:30
Tala activities manager Brad Scott looks at hippo tracks at the edge of the dam.

Tala activities manager Brad Scott looks at hippo tracks at the edge of the dam. (Ian Carbutt )

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There's no sign yet of the young hippo that escaped from Tala Private Game Reserve.

On Monday rangers from the reserve were still busy trying to track the movements of the hippopotamus that escaped from the reserve at the weekend.

The two-year-old hippo, thought to have broken out of the game reserve due to a territorial dispute with the pod’s dominant male hippo at the reserve, was believed to be in one of the dams around Beaumont Eston Farmers’ Club.

The Witness was told on Sunday that club members who were on a trail run had reported seeing the hippo at the weekend. The dam was obscured by thick reeds.

On Monday rangers searched for hippo tracks but were not able to pinpoint the hippo’s whereabouts.

An aerial search was due to be conducted yesterday afternoon by microlight but general manager at Tala Private Game Reserve, Greg Allan, later said the wind picked up and the search had to be called off.

He told The Witness on Sunday that capturing the hippo was not a simple matter.

Active capture methods could involve any one or a combination of techiques including netting, darting or herding the animal into a cordoned-off area.

The problem with darting a hippo is that if it is able to run back into water after being darted it could drown. The methods used would therefore depend on various circumstances, including its exact location.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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