Lodge Finds Stuck Hippo in Swimming Pool
A huge hippo who wandered away from a South African preserve and into a lodge’s swimming pool now finds himself stuck there.
The pool at the Monate Conservation Lodge just north of Johannesburg has no steps so the hippo can’t help himself climb out of the deep water where he remains an unwelcome captive. Lodge officials are slowly draining the water away and will attempt to sedate the wild animal and use heavy-duty cranes to lift him out and away from the pool area.
The second part of the rescue procedure will be helping to relocate the hippopotamus to another local preserve because he cannot return to his original herd since their chasing him away caused him to wander into the lodge’s pool in the first place.
Solly died Friday before rescue workers could free him from the pool.
“It’s devastating,” Monate Conservation Lodge manager Ruby Ferreira told the The Times newspaper. “He was not as perky this morning, more agitated, like he was irritated.”
The hippo showed signs of stress early Friday morning, Ferreira said, according to the South Africa Press Association.
“He was not as perky this morning, more agitated, like he was irritated. I think because he wanted to get out of the pool. That’s my personal opinion,” said Ferreira. “We’ve been waiting for the vets and I think they were just a bit too late.”
Ferreira said hippos are sensitive creatures. His stress level had probably been rising since being forced from his group, called a pod, resulting in him taking shelter in the pool, said Ferreira. Once in the 2.4 metre (8 foot) deep pool he could not get out, likely adding to his stress.