Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 08 July 2010
A juvenile hippo, nicknamed Zorro, was caught at Cape Town’s largest waste-water treatment plant near Strandfontein on Monday and shipped off to a private reserve in Worcester.
Zorro had made the sewerage works his home since February 2009 after fleeing the adjacent nature reserve of Rondevlei where he was chased away by his father.
Thieves had stolen part of the reserves fence, creating an opening for the 1200 kg four-year old to escape.
The elusive hippo has proven difficult to trap, as he could not easily be enticed by lucerne bails. The lush grass of the sewerage works seemingly held more appeal than a baited boma.
Perseverance by nature conservationists has finally paid off though and he was caught in the early hours of Monday morning.
“We found him there at 3:00 morning in that capture boma, brought a transfer crate to site, loaded him into the crate and he was in his new home in Worcester by 5:00 in the afternoon”, said Dalton Gibbs of the city’s Environmental Resource Management department.
A number of hippos have been translocated from Rondevlei since the re-introduction of these animals in 1981. Hippos were originally found in Cape Town but were exterminated by the 1700’s.
Source: Cape Town Green Map