Visitors to the Monate Conservation Lodge in South Africa found an unexpected guest in the swimming pool earlier this week. A young hippo, driven away from his herd, wandered onto the property on Tuesday to take a refreshing dip. The only problem is the pool doesn’t have any steps and the large animal has been stuck in the water ever since.
According to this story from the Guardian, the four-year old hippo’s mother recently gave birth to another calf causing dominant males to drive him away. Hippos prefer to be in water whenever possible, however, and the lone young male simply found the nearest unoccupied pool to make his new home. While stranded in the 8-foot-deep pool, the lodge staff have been feeding the animal who doesn’t seem all that concerned about his current situation.
Over the course of the past few days the hippo has sullied the water in the pool with its waste and as a result the staff has been slowly draining it in preparation for cleaning. An animal capture team is due on site today to sedate the animal and then remove him from the water using a crane. Once that operation is complete the young male will be taken to another animal reserve where he’ll be introduced into a new herd.
Hopefully, none of the guests at the lodge were especially looking forward to swimming in the pool these past few days. We visit Africa to get close to these amazing animals, but that might be just a little too close for comfort.