Hippo loses battle, cools off in Grassy Park

By Buziwe Nocuze

Videos of a male hippo roaming the streets of Grassy Park in Cape Town early on Saturday morning have set social media abuzz, with some residents finding it hard to believe that the hippo was real.

But those staying in Grassy Park were not surprised as they often see hippos in the fenced 290-hectare Rondevlei Nature Reserve next to the suburb.

Rondevlei is a bird sanctuary with mostly permanent wetlands and a single large brackish lagoon.

Residents want to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again.

“We are glad that no one was injured this time,” said a resident.

“We hope there won’t be a next time. The hippo got out because someone didn’t do their job. After all, it managed to get out without anyone noticing. They must have extra security,” 

A social media user said: “I am glad it came out at night. Imagine what would happen if it was during the day with kids playing in the streets.”

Cape Town’s deputy MMC for spatial planning and the environment, Eddie Andrews, said at about 1.40am on Saturday rangers from the Rondevlei section of the False Bay Nature Reserve saw a report on a social media group of a hippo outside of the Rondevlei reserve.

“They notified the reserve staff who discovered a hippo in the Grassy Park residential area next to the reserve. Reserve staff, rangers, and the SAPS worked together to herd the animal back to the reserve and repaired the hole made by the escaping hippo,” said Andrews.

The hippo was back in Rondevlei around 2.24am. 

“On investigation, it was found that there was a battle between the dominant male and another hippo. In an attempt to evade the dominant male, the hippo escaped. The city can confirm that the hippo is doing well and that no incidents related to this less than an-hour-long escape have been reported,” said Andrews.

BBC Wildlife says: “The hippopotamus is… the deadliest large land mammal on the planet. It is estimated that hippo attacks kill 500 people each year in Africa. It is not only their size and weight that makes them dangerous, but also their very sharp teeth!”

Pictured above: A video of a hippo roaming around Grassy Park streets in Cape Town surfaced on social media.

Image source: Supplied.


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