Entries in Hippopotamus (2)


Stranded Hippo Dies in Pool Just Before Rescue

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(JOHANNESBURG) -- People in South Africa were expecting to cheer the rescue Friday morning of a young hippopotamus named “Solly” that was stuck for four days at the bottom of a swimming pool, but instead they were disappointed to learn that the hippo died before he could be saved.

“It’s devastating,” Monate Conservation Lodge manager Ruby Ferreira told the The Times newspaper.  “He was not as perky this morning, more agitated, like he was irritated.”

Ferreira and staff at the private game lodge north of Johannesburg had been watching over Solly, a 4-year-old bull, since Tuesday when they say he wandered onto their property after being chased away from his herd by older bulls.

When Solly stepped into the 8-foot deep pool for a swim, it was too deep for him to get back out.  A team of conservationists and veterinarians drained the pool enough to allow Solly to stand, and pictures and video of the stranded hippo made headlines across the country.  The game park received offers from a business and members of the public to help pay for the rescue.

“One man called to say his daughter wouldn’t sleep until I listened to her plan to save the hippo,” rescue volunteer Andre Snyman from Eblockwatch told reporters.

Solly was expected to be tranquilized and lifted from the pool with a crane Friday morning, but Ferreira said he died shortly before the veterinarians arrived to begin the rescue operation.  Ferreira believes the animal was dealing with mounting stress levels and gave up after being stranded in an unnatural environment for too long.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Popular Tokyo Zoo Hippo the Latest Victim of Japan Earthquake

Ueno Zoological Gardens(TOKYO) -- Japan's monster earthquake has claimed its latest victim, a popular hippo named Satsuki at a Tokyo zoo.

The 39-year-old animal, who became a popular attraction after appearing in a toothbrushing event, has been hobbled with injuries since the 9.0-magnitude quake struck last month, zoo officials said. She died last Saturday.

Keepers at the Ueno Zoo said Satsuki was in a pool when the tremblor hit on March 11 and did not suffer any injuries. However, the hippo lost her balance and twisted her left front leg as she walked back to her cage an hour after the shaking stopped. Officials believe the shock and stress from the record-setting jolt may have rattled and disoriented the animal.

Veterinarians treated Satsuki's sprained leg, but the animal re-injured it in separate falls, making it nearly impossible for the 5,000-pound animal to support her own weight. Officials said the chronic pain and lack of movement caused her vital functions to shut down.

Satsuki's death has created a big void at the Ueno Zoo. She died just as it was getting ready to open a special hippo exhibition next month to mark the 100th anniversary of the arrival of hippopotamus at the Tokyo zoo.

Satsuki was sired by a hippo named Dekao and a mother named Nagoya in May 1971. While most hippos are born underwater, Satsuki was delivered on the ground. She eventually gave birth to six calves. Only one of her offspring remains alive; it is housed at the zoo in Okinawa.

Hippos average a lifespan of 40 to 45 years. Satsuki was one of nearly 50 hippos that are being kept at zoos across Japan. Ueno Zoo now has just one hippo, a 27-year-old male, Jiro.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio