Operation Save the Hippo to kickoff

A hippo, trapped in a swimming pool at a Limpopo Game Lodge. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN.
A hippo, trapped in a Limpopo Game Lodge swimming pool, stands up as rescue efforts continue around it. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN.
A hippo peeks out of a Limpopo Game Lodge swimming pool, after being trapped there for several days. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN.
JOHANNESBURG - Community action group E-blockwatch says it has finalised a rescue operation to get a hippo out of a swimming pool in Limpopo.

The five-year-old animal has been stuck in the pool on the Monate Game Farm since Tuesday after it was chased away by its family group, when another calf was born.

It is unclear how it got in.

Operation Save the Hippo is expected to kickoff on Thursday afternoon.

E-blockwatch says it has found community members willing to sponsor the rescue operation, expected to cost around R40,000.

The group says one of the local veterinary has offered to bring his crane which they will use to hoist the animal out of the water.

There are fears the hippo might not survive being tranquilised.

From there the Monate Game Farm owner and the local Department of Nature Conservation will decide where the hippo will be relocated to.

However, E-blockwatch says it still has to secure a permit to authorise the relocation.

Meanwhile, another hippo is on the loose in Cape Town.

 It is believed the animal is a two-year old calf that moved out of Rondevlei into the Strandfontein Birding Area, and subsequently into Zeekoevlei while attempting a return to Rondevlei to find its home pod.

The public is advised to exercise caution, as hippos are known to be extremely dangerous wild animals.

(Edited by Lindiwe Mlandu)