Escaped Hippo Wanders Through South African Neighborhood

You don’t want to mess with a hippo that’s on the loose. A hippopotamus shocked many living in a suburb in South Africa after it escaped from a nature reserve and was seen wandering through the streets.

Residents in Grassy Park, a suburb of Cape Town, South Africa, captured photos of a hippo that had broken through a fence at the Rondevlei Nature Reserve. The large animal was caught wandering through residential streets just after midnight on April 13, 2024.

Resident Ashraff Schwartz said police went after the hippo in the yard of his family’s home. “My 74-year-old mom watched from inside the house, very scared, as the hippo came straight for our door. The police were standing outside the yard,” Schwartz said.

He added: “It then turned around and ran up the road, but before then it broke my wall as it jumped over it. Hippos are dangerous animals and it could have killed someone. The nature reserve will have to put up stronger fencing for our safety.”

According to local officials, the hippo’s escape was spurred by the animal fleeing an altercation with a dominant male inside the reserve. The Cape of Good Hope SPCA Wildlife Department said police and Quemic Rangers were able to herd the hippo back to the reserve.

Fortunately, no injuries were reported to any humans or hippos.