Gondwana Game Reserve

Cape Town hippo eludes capture team last week

Gondwana Game Reserve
After a long second night, the team from Gondwana Game Reserve and the City of Cape Town had to call off the Houdini hippo capture last Thursday at about 4am in Zeekoevlei in Cape Town. 

Since this time the hippo has only been seen once by a resident.  Gondwana Game Reserve and the City Parks officials have made a decision to wait and see if they can pick up any consistent movement patterns before Gondwana’s team heads down again and incur the costs of the professionals and equipment. Mark Rutherfoord, Gondwana’s owner says, “We have no idea how long this is going to take but I am in daily communication with City Parks officials.”

Mark continues, “This is unfortunately characteristic of hippo capture and with all the variables, due to its location, this could be a long exercise. I was confident when we first went down due the fact that the hippo had been seen so frequently, but I am of the opinion that the pressure caused by the public has made the hippo very cautious of where he comes out. They are creatures of habit and it is just a matter of time before we see some sort of pattern. It is easier to work with the animals then try and force it to work for you. “

Last week the young hippo, which escaped through a hole in the fence at Rondevlei  two weeks ago, was sighted the first night while the capture team was there on standby, but it had not come far enough away from the water to be darted. The issue is that the sedative needs to take action before the hippo can get back to the water and run the risk of drowning.

 “We are not concerned that we were unable to dart the hippo last night, this is usual capture procedure and can take weeks, the most important factor is to ensure that the hippo’s safety is top priority, assuming no immediate human threat and we will only dart the animal if the location is completely comfortable for the hippo with no risk factors” Says Mark Rutherford.

Gondwana veterinarian Brendan Tindall explains hippos are creatures of habit, so though they were unable to capture the animal, they will quickly be able to predict his movements.

When the hippo is successfully darted and moved from Zeekoevlei, Gondwana Game Reserve along the Western Cape’s Garden Route will become his new home.  The 11 000 hectare private reserve offers ample water sanctuary and grazing capacity for this bulk feeder that can eat up to 45 kilograms of grass a night.   Rich in biodiversity, Gondwana Game Reserve is a magnificent place for a hippo to live surrounded by the majestic Outeniqua mountains.  He will even have friends waiting for him at the reserve, though it is more than likely they will not meet up on the vast reserve.
This wealth of wildlife and diversity of colourful Fynbos vegetation makes Gondwana Game Reserve a nature lover’s paradise, not only for animals but for human visitors too. Relaxation and luxury while enjoying all the wonders of South Africa’s wildlife and spectacular landscape is what the Gondwana experience is all about.

If you wish to see the Cape Town hippo in its new home at Gondwana Game Reserve outside of Mossel Bay along with a host of other beautiful creatures and spectacular scenery contact the reserve by email at reservations@gondwanagr.co.za or on telephone at +27 21 4245430.

For any media enquiries, please contact Charleen White at Nicky Arthur PR by email at charleen@nickyarthurpr.com or by telephone at +27 21 424 0384.
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