False Bay hippo off to greener pastures

The young male was part of a small herd of hippopotamus

A young male hippo was successfully captured and translocated from the City of Cape Town’s False Bay Nature Reserve on Wednesday evening. 

Personnel from the False Bay Nature Reserve successfully captured a young male hippopotamus during a special operation on Wednesday evening, 28 June 2017, where after he was translocated to the Garden Route Game Lodge.
 
The operation and execution were carefully planned over the past few months.
 
‘The two-and-a-half-year-old male hippo was secluded in a pan at the Strandfontein Section of the False Bay Nature Reserve for a few months after his father forced him out of the group. The capturing commenced at approximately 19:30 on Wednesday evening when the hippo – with a weight of about 750 kg – was caught with a passive capture technique in a sturdy wooden boma. A vet monitored the process and at 23:30 the animal was transported by truck to his new home,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Area South, Councillor Eddie Andrews.
 
The hippo was translocated to the privately owned Garden Route Game Lodge in accordance with a memorandum of agreement whereby animals are translocated on loan.
 
‘This means that should the City in future need to expand our hippo population, one of these animals will be translocated from the Garden Route Game Lodge. The hippo was released at 04:30 yesterday morning and according to City officials he wandered around the edge of a wetland before quietly settling in among the reeds. Hopefully the young male hippo will soon join two female hippos and form a breeding herd,’ said Councillor Andrews.
 
The young male was part of a small herd of hippopotamus that are located at the False Bay Nature Reserve on the Cape Flats. The herd consists of animals that were reintroduced in 1981 or who were born here over the years.
 
The arrival of offspring necessitates the removal of excess animals to maintain a carrying capacity and a genetically healthy population. Animals that are translocated are being placed to help establish other viable populations elsewhere in the Western Cape as part of the City’s commitment to biodiversity and natural heritage. 
 
‘Translocating hippos is important and necessary. The City ensures that the receiving environment will provide a place where the hippo can live in the wild and interact naturally. I would like to congratulate the reserve manager and personnel of the False Bay Nature Reserve for a job well done. Capturing and transporting hippo is not an easy task,’ said Councillor Andrews.
 
Hippopotamus were historically common in the Western Cape but were exterminated by the 1800s. Animals translocated from the False Bay Nature Reserve population over the years have been used to establish three other populations in the Western Cape.
 
The City has incredibly important biodiversity and natural systems under our management, with the False Bay Nature Reserve counting among one of 16 reserves across Cape Town.