Stray city hippo to get new home at Gondwana Game Reserve

Cape Town- The hippo that wandered from Cape Town’s Rondevlei to Zeekoevlei will soon have a wonderful new home at Gondwana Game Reserve along the Western Cape’s Garden Route. 

In a bid to offer this not-yet-named little guy a happier outcome than Solly, his far-off Limpopo relative who died during a rescue operation from the swimming pool last week, Gondwana Game Reserve will capture the hippo and transfer it to their reserve. 

This comes after failed hopes by conservation authorities at the False Bay Nature Reserve that it would return to its pod in Rondevlei via “passive capture” which entails walking through man made funnels directing it back to the reserve. 

Waiting for this natural return is potentially a time consuming process and Authorities needed to act more quickly based on the threat the hippo poses to residents. 

“Gondwana’s wildlife team gladly jumped in to assist and will utilize the latest chemical immobilization techniques, which will allow the Gondwana team to dart the animal near water without putting it in danger”, says the reserve’s veterinarian Brendan Tindall. Hippos are one of the most difficult animals to actively capture given the risk of the animal running into the water after it’s been darted. 

With the City of Cape Town helping to organise the capture and relocation, it is likely a SAPS helicopter and crane trucks to elevate the hippo will be used. “We will then drive the little guy through the night to Gondwana and release him directly onto the reserve,” says Owner Mark Rutherfoord. This new home and even fellow friends are what wait for this young hippo’s immediate future. 

The 11 000 hectare private reserve offers ample water sanctuary and grazing capacity for this bulk feeder that can eat up to 45 kilograms of grass a night. Fortunately the male and female pair at Gondwana are young enough that the new youngster should be accepted without aggression. Owners Mark and Wendy Rutherfoord are committed to the conservation of the Western Cape’s fauna and flora. 

Rich in biodiversity, Gondwana Game Reserve is a magnificent place for a hippo to live surrounded by the majestic Outeniqua mountains. To instil further faith in animal lovers, Gondwana already has a number of conservation projects in place, with a leopard project, cheetah reintroduction effort and a black rhino conservation program. 

With such focus on wildlife it is no wonder the Gondwana team is excited to receive a new resident. 

This wealth of wildlife and diversity of colourful Fynbos vegetation makes Gondwana Game Reserve a nature lover’s paradise, not only for animals but for human visitors too. Relaxation and luxury while enjoying all the wonders of South Africa’s wildlife and spectacular landscape is what the Gondwana experience is all about. 

If you wish to see the Cape Town hippo at its new home at Gondwana Game Reserve near Mossel Bay, along with a host of other beautiful creatures and lush vegetation please contact the reserve by email on or by telephone on +27 21 424 5430.

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