Authorities are still on the lookout for a hippo that was initially spotted in the Chartwell area, near Fourways in Johannesburg, on December 29. File Picture.
Authorities are still on the lookout for a hippo that was initially spotted in the Chartwell area, near Fourways in Johannesburg, on December 29. File Picture.

Hippo still roaming Fourways streets and breaking lockdown rules

By Chad Williams Time of article published Jan 14, 2021

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Cape Town - Authorities are still on the lookout for a hippo that was initially spotted in the Chartwell area, near Fourways in Johannesburg, on December 29.

According to a report by TimesLive, the Gauteng Agriculture and Rural Development Department (GDARD) said it had received an unusual call on December 29 from a member of the public who had sighted a hippo near the densely populated and plush suburb of Fourways.

In an update on the whereabouts of the stray hippo, the spokesperson for the GDARD Nozipho Hlabangana said on Thursday that the department had alerted the police and local conservation practitioners in the area, as well as a private security company which assists in wildlife matters, writes the Fourways Review.

Hlabangana said the department was collaborating with the mentioned stakeholders to monitor the movements of the hippo in and around the area.

Meanwhile, local residents have asked whether it could be Harpo the Hippo from Hartbeespoort Dam, who surfaced last year and has been seen on numerous occasions, writes the Fourways Review.

The Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital took to social media on December 29 to confirm that they were aware of the hippo that was sighted along the river in Chartwell.

The hospital added that the GDARD had been contacted to assess the situation and that the GDARD was the official organisation required to assist and make decisions in situations such as this.

According to wildlife rehabilitation specialists, the hippo probably called the Hartbeespoort Dam home, and if it was left in peace it was likely to return of its own free will, writes EWN.

Hlabangana added that so far the animal had not caused any damage or posed a threat to any humans or animals.

Conservation officials are calling on the public to remain vigilant and report the whereabouts of the animal, but urge the public not to try and approach the animal, but instead to contact the authorities immediately.

Nicci Wright from the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital told the African News Agency that under no circumstances must the hippo be fed, harassed or approached.

Meanwhile, social media has been abuzz with the news that 2021 is starting off with a stray hippo roaming the streets of Johannesburg, with some even taking the opportunity to name the majestic animal.

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