Cape Town - A hippopotamus from KwaZulu-Natal has wandered over into neighbouring Mozambique, where authorities now fear that it might be shot and fed to the Mozambican locals! The hippo is currently on a beach in Ponto do Ouro, which is on the border between SA and Mozam.
People who have seen the pictures of the hippo on Angie Gullan's Facebook page, have commented that when animals cross over to Mozambique, it often happens that the authorities shoot the animal and give the meat to the locals.
Gullan is the owner of Dolphin Encounters Research Centre in Ponta do Ouro.
It is said that this usually happens after floods, especially with displaced crocodiles. The animals mainly pose a threat to locals and therefore need to be eliminated.
Gullan thus far can confirm that the hippo is still safe, saying on Facebook that, although "there is talk that Mr Hippo had been shot! He has NOT. Tracks have been reported up the bay towards Malongane going into the bush".
The hippo, which is expected to hail from Kosi Bay, is miraculously surviving in the salty sea water.
Kosi Bay is a lake situated right on the shores of the Indian ocean, however it is still considered a freshwater haven for animals.
Up until now, it seems as if the The Reserva Marinha Parcial da Ponta do Ouro, a Mozambican government organisation, has kept vigil over the hippo during the nights in hope that it would venture back from where it came.
Gullan reports, however, that the hippo had stayed in the foreign water up until now, unfortunately.
She posted on Facebook saying, "we assume Mr Hippo (and I am not to sure if it is a he or she) came across the border from Kosi Bay. At this stage we are unsure of what the outcome will be, but rest assured the Reserve is keeping a close eye on the situation. It is advisable NOT to swim in the bay please folks".
In an email to Traveller24, Angie said that Nic Vaughn Jones, a local philanthropist and ex KZN Parks board conservationist was on the scene recently at Ponta Mamoli with Reserve Guards from the Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve and reported that the young male was doing well and making his way further north.
A less populated area, with lakes behind fairly low and protected dunes and an abundance of grassland will hopefully find the hippo making his way across tonight.