Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Hippo stranded in swimming pool

Harry the hippo in the water at the Monate Conservation Lodge near Modimolle, South Africa (AP)

A hippo chased away from his herd at a South African game reserve found a refreshing place to relax - the lodge's swimming pool, where it then became stuck.

The young hippopotamus plopped into the pool at the Monate Conservation Lodge north of Johannesburg on Tuesday.

The pool is big enough for him to swim but it is 8ft (2.4m) deep with no steps and "there's no way he can come out", lodge manager Ruby Ferreira said.

A game capture team will sedate the hippo and lift it out of the pool with a crane, said MuIsabel Wentzel, of South Africa's National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Much of the water has already been drained to make the rescue easier. A veterinarian will be present during Operation Hippo Extraction.

The four-year-old hippo's mother gave birth recently, and more dominant males forced him from the herd.

Lodge staff have been feeding the hippo, and has Ms Ferreira said the youngster has been noticeably relaxed with no other hippos fighting it for dominance, though the water in the pool has been getting mucky with hippo dung. The pool will be entirely drained before the hippo is lifted out.

Because the hippo was chased away by his herd, he will be moved to another animal sanctuary, Ms Ferreira added.

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