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Cape Town - Houdini the hippo, who made headlines with his daring escape from Rondevlei Nature Reserve almost a decade ago, is not only an escape artist but may now be a proud father.
The Pumba Private Game Reserve and Spa near Port Elizabeth announced on Monday that a baby hippo, spotted around the reserve, was probably the offspring of the infamous Rondevlei runner.
The first sighting of the newborn was on September 16, the reserve said.
Houdini escaped from Rondevlei Nature Reserve in Grassy Park in February 2004. The hippo eluded rangers for months until he was captured in December that year.
It was suspected that Houdini had been forced out of Rondevlei by his infamously violent father, Brutus, and this was the reason the hippo could not be re-introduced to the nature reserve.
The birth came as a surprise to the rangers. Park staff explained that the size of the mammals made it difficult to see when one of them was pregnant.
A hippo’s pregnancy lasts for eight months and newborns weigh about 30kg.