WATCH: Escaped hippo roams Grassy Park streets

Running wild: Hippo roaming Grassy Park. Picture screen grabbed

Running wild: Hippo roaming Grassy Park. Picture screen grabbed

Published Apr 15, 2024


Social media users thought they were watching an episode of Jumanji as pictures and videos of a hippopotamus wandering the streets of Grassy Park started trending on Sunday.

The wild animal, which tore the fence of its enclosure was spotted on Eighth Avenue shortly after midnight on Saturday.

Residents near the Rondevlei Nature Reserve say they weren’t surprised, as hippos regularly wander around at night in the fenced off facility, but this is the first time one escaped.

Resident Ashraff Schwartz said: “The fence is new so when it was put up, the hippos started coming closer to the neighbourhood. We would see hippos standing within the bounds of the nature reserve.”

Schwartz said when the huge animal was cornered by the police, it ran into his yard in Rooikrans Avenue.

“My 74-year-old mom watched from inside the house, very scared, as the hippo came straight for our door, the police were standing outside the yard.

“It then turned around and ran up the road but before then, it broke my wall as it jumped over it. Hippos are dangerous animals and could have killed someone. The nature reserve will have to put up stronger fencing for our safety,” he said.

Resident Ashraff Schwartz. Picture: Mandilakhe Tshwete

Inspector Trevor Rodney from the Cape of Good Hope SPCA Wildlife Department was on the scene.

“The hippopotamus escaped through the fence of Rondevlei Nature reserve. Quemic Rangers were on the scene within minutes, at about 1am and the hippo was herded back into the reserve in Perth Road using their vehicles and the fence is temporarily secured until repairs can be officially undertaken,” SPCA spokesperson, Belinda Abraham said.

Hippo broke the fencing. Picture: screen grabbed

“Hippos are highly territorial and can become aggressive if they feel threatened or if their territory is encroached upon. They are also very protective of their young, which can trigger aggressive behaviour if they perceive any potential threats.

“Additionally, hippos have poor eyesight, so they may attack simply out of confusion or in response to sudden movements.

“They are responsible for more human fatalities in Africa than any other large animal,” Abraham said.

Cape Town Deputy Mayor Eddie Andrews, and mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment said rangers from the Rondevlei section of the False Bay Nature Reserve saw a report on social media of the hippo and took action.

“The hippo was back in Rondevlei at around 2.24am. On investigation it was found that there was an altercation between the dominant male and the other (escaped) hippo in the area and in an attempt to evade the dominant male, the hippo escaped.

“The City can confirm that the hippo is doing well, and that no incidents related to his less than an hour-long escape have been reported.”

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Daily Voice