Is the grass greener in Grassy Park?

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SAPS Grassy Park notified us of a Hippopotamus on the loose in the early morning hours. Inspector Trevor Rodney from the Cape of Good Hope SPCA Wildlife Department was on scene.

The Hippopotamus escaped through the fence of Rondevlei Nature Reserve. Quemic Rangers were on the scene within minutes, about 1 am, and the hippo was herded back into the reserve in Perth Road using their vehicles.

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.

Rondevlei Nature Reserve is home to about 230 bird species, a variety of small mammals and reptiles like caracal, porcupine, Cape fox, grysbuck, steenbuck and mongoose, as well as a hippopotamus population which was re-introduced in 1981 as a means to control an alien grass species from South America, which had covered the shoreline and was threatening to engulf the vlei itself. It boasts unusual and threatened ecosystems like strandveld, sand plains fynbos, Cape lowland wetland vegetation and indigenous coastal fynbos vegetation with unique plants found nowhere else in the world.

Call the authorities if you ever see a hippo, and never say never. Hippos can run very fast and will outrun you.

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