JOHANNESBURG – A hefty hippo chased away from his herd at a South African game reserve has found a refreshing place to relax: the lodge's swimming pool. Now it's stuck there.
The young hippopotamus plopped into the pool on Tuesday at the Monate Conservation Lodge north of Johannesburg. The pool is big enough for the hippo to swim but it's eight feet deep with no steps and "there's no way he can come out," lodge manager Ruby Ferreira told The Associated Press on Thursday.
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 extraction easier. A veterinarian will be present during operation hippo extraction on Friday.
Wentzel said the 4-year-old hippo's mother gave birth recently, and more dominant males forced him from the herd.
The staff has been feeding the hippo. Ferreira said it's been noticeably relaxed with no other hippos fighting it for dominance, though the water in the pool has been getting mucky with hippo poop. The pool will be entirely drained before the hippo is lifted out.
Because the hippo was chased away by his herd, it will be moved to another animal sanctuary, Ferreira said.