Hippo named to honour his caregiver

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IOL hippo in pool 2 ST p3sec hip609.JPG THE STAR Here I am!' Solly breaks the surface and makes waves. Picture: Chris Collingridge

Limpopo - A young hippopotamus who has been stuck in a swimming pool at the Monate Conservation Lodge in Limpopo since Tuesday has been named Solly after one of his caregivers, according to a report on Friday.

Solly Sibuyi, 30, who has been a game warden at the lodge for nine years, has been feeding the 4-year-old hippo and checking up on him before and after game drives to make sure “he's still okay”, Beeld reported.

“Oh, my heart feels sorry for him. I miss him at the dam when I check up on the other hippos,” Sibuyi said.

Concerned babysitter Sibuyi also managed the arrival and positioning of a large crane near the pool, which, later on Friday morning, was expected to be used to lift the sedated hippo to safety.

The pool is big enough for the hippo to swim in but it's eight feet deep with no steps, so much of the water has been drained to make extraction easier.

The hippo's mother reportedly gave birth recently, and more dominant males forced him from the herd, so he has to be moved to another sanctuary.

“I'm very happy they can help Solly the hippo. I'm going to miss him, but he must live where he can be safe and happy, our hippo,” Sibuyi said. - Sapa

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