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Hippo who wandered into pool at South Africa lodge dies

  • This photo, provided by Eyewitness News, shows a hippo stuck in a swimming pool at Monate Conservation Lodge in South Africa.Govan Whittles/Eyewitness News

  • This photo, provided by Eyewitness News, shows a hippo stuck in a swimming pool at Monate Conservation Lodge in South Africa.Govan Whittles/Eyewitness News

A hippo who wandered into a swimming pool at a South African game reserve three days ago died Friday before a capture team could pull him out with a crane.

Wildlife rescue expert Simon Prinsloo had been pouring water on the animal with a bucket and then through a hose to keep it hydrated. The team was waiting for a veterinarian to come before hoisting out the young hippo and it died as the veterinarian arrived. The young hippo had plunged into the deep pool on Tuesday after being chased off from his herd by male members seeking dominance,

The plight of the stranded hippo captured the attention of many in South Africa. Live television coverage showed the hippo spout water in the pool. But the lighthearted story became somber when the hippo became inert and appeared lifeless Friday morning.

The swimming pool at the Monate Conservation Lodge near Modimolle, a small town north of Johannesburg, was big enough for the hippo to swim in and submerge himself but it had no steps and there was no way the animal could get out on his own. Rescuers drained most of the water from the pool in the rescue effort and a crane was positioned to hoist the one ton animal.