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Hippo in sewerage works

16 Feb 2009 Posted by in Environment | Comments

From the Independent Online - 10th February 2009

A lone male hippo is wondering the “greener pastures” of the Cape Flats sewerage works after a spat with his dad, the City of Cape Town said on Tuesday.

Biodiversity manager Julia Wood said the young male hippopotamus was pushed out of the herd residing at the Zeekoevlei Nature Reserve a few weeks ago.

“There are signs that this animal has been attacked and pushed out from the herd by his father.

“It is commonly known that hippos are extremely territorial and adult males often attack or kill juvenile males that challenge their dominance,” she said.

The young hippo sought refuge at the sewerage works and was spotted by council staff. He remains at the sewerage works where he has an abundance of water and ample grazing field.

“The animal is being constantly monitored by Rondevlei Nature Reserve staff and a comprehensive plan is in place to either lure the animal back into Rondevlei or capture the animal.

“The area where the animal was seen is not regularly accessed by the public… it won’t move out of the sewerage works, we are keeping a check on it,” Woods said.

Funnels were being erected to guide the young hippo into Rondevlei to give the animal the opportunity to re-enter its family territory.

“A simultaneous construction of an electric fence around the area the animal frequents connected to a boma where the animal will be baited with Lucerne, a favourite food for young hippos.

“This method will be used if the animal is unable to return to Rondevlei, due to the bull’s territoriality,” she said.

If neither method works, an “active” capture was being planned. The hippo would then be given a suitable home which the City is currently scouting for. – Sapa

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