Solly the hippo dies

Solly the hippo died before a rescue operation could get underway. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Solly the hippo died on Friday morning before an attempt to rescue him from a swimming pool could get underway.

The one ton hippo had been in distress all of Friday morning after his swimming pool was drained in preparation for a rescue operation.

A veterinarian who was hired to tranquilise the animal arrived at the scene nearly four hours late, and couldn't save him.

Solly spent four days in the swimming pool of the Monate game farm in Limpopo, where he landed up after being kicked out by his pod.

Monate's manager Ruby Ferreria said she was very upset with what happened.

"They arrive here late and Solly died. We've been waiting all morning. I'm very heartbroken at the loss of Solly."

Solly had been stuck in the pool since Tuesday.

Thursday’s rescue effort was abandoned after the capture team decided that the water should be drained from the pool before tranquilising the animal.

If rescued, Solly would have left Monate for his new home on a nearby farm where he would have had an entire dam all to himself.