Escaped hippo shipped out of Cape Town waterworks
The young hippo fled a nature reserve after a clash with its father.
Tue, Jul 06 2010 at 6:32 AM
FAMILY NATURE: It’s natural for the dominant male in a herd to chase away younger males, including sons. (Photo: ZUMA Press)
A young hippo has been shipped out of a Cape Town sewerage works, where he made his home after fleeing a nature reserve where he had clashed with his father, an official said Tuesday.
The 4-year-old — nicknamed "Zorro" — fled the Rondevlei Nature Reserve outside Cape Town in February 2009 for the lush grass and abundant water of the sewerage waterworks.
Thieves had made off with part of the reserve's fence, creating an opening for 1,200-kilogram Zorro to escape.
Reserve staff put up an electric fence around 22 hectares to contain him around a water pan and baited a capture "boma" enclosure, said Dalton Gibbs of the city's nature conservation department.
"We found him there at 3 (Monday) morning in that capture boma, brought a transfer crate to site, loaded him into the crate and he was in his new home in Worcester by 5 in the afternoon."
The hippo was moved to a private reserve in nearby Worcester.
"The natural cycle is the dominant male will chase out younger males out of the herd," Gibbs said about the hippo's escape. "It's a fairly normal process."
The semi-aquatic animals are known for their aggression and are able to run faster than a human on land.
Copyright 2010 AFP Global Edition
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