Renegade Rondevlei Hippo – safely at Gondwana at last.

July 24, 2013

After a 5 hour trip from the Mother City, Gondwana Game Reserve welcomed a new hippopotamus to its current pod. After spending nearly a year attempting to capture this elusive animal, the young bull was eventually enticed into the capture boma on the 19th of July.

The City of Cape Town had to find an alternative home for the animal after he had escaped out of Rondevlei, which forms part of the False Bay Nature Reserve. Most well known for its wetland ecosystems that is rich in biodiversity and surrounded by a sea of urban developments. A 300m section of fencing was stolen from the reserve perimeter allowing a hippo cow and her newborn calf to escape. The young bull followed them but did not return to Rondevlei unlike the cow and her calf. The renegade hippo started frequenting residential gardens at night before disappearing into a suburban lake at dawn.

Hippos are considered to be one of the most dangerous animals in the world. The remaining animal posed a potential threat to the public that surround the waterbody, and the decision was made to relocate the animal. The Hippos in the False Bay Nature Reserve constitute the only population of this species in the Greater Cape Town Area and have played a major role in re-establishing animals into other conservation areas in the Western Cape.

We are monitoring the young bull’s adaption to his new surroundings at the Western Cape Game Reserve but he has not been an easy task to locate. With over 40 dams on Gondwana and sufficient grazing, the young bull should quickly establish his territory and home range.

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