Several attempts to capture a hippo at large in Zeekoevlei, on the Cape Flats, have been unsuccessful, the city said on Thursday.
The two-year-old calf moved out of Rondevlei into the Strandfontein birding area, and later into Zeekoevlei. There are several homes on the edge of the area.
The city had intended to dart the animal, capture it and take it to a new home at the Gondwana Game Reserve, near Mossel Bay.
Game reserve staff tried several times to corner the hippo, but it failed to emerge from the Zeekoevlei lake in which it was wallowing. They had since left the city.
“Further capture attempts were made last night, 29 August 2012, but the hippo did not emerge from the water,” the city said in a statement.
“The game reserve vet, therefore, had no suitable opportunity to dart the animal.”
Two sightings of the animal were reported this week.
The city said its biodiversity management personnel would monitor the animal to establish its patterns.
“Once the animal has established a pattern which is favourable for darting, active capture will be initiated again. Staff will also ensure that the hippo has limited contact with people and remains safe.”
The city advised people to steer clear of the animal, and leave city officials to do their work.
“Do not shoot at the hippo. No standard gun is suitable for shooting hippos. If you wound a hippo, you have created a highly dangerous situation. A wounded hippo may charge on sight and may very well injure or kill you or an innocent bystander,” the city said.