Lovely story and pics from Pumba Private Game Reserve
's intrepid game rangers/
Houdini the Hippo
Here at Pumba Private Game Reserve the dominant male hippo has quiet a story behind his arrival to the reserve. As his name suggests he was quiet the escape artist and it took game capture expert JJ van Altena of Catchco Africa eight consecutive night of trailing the young hippo through swamps and vleis to finally capture him.
The Capture team would lie in wait at night hoping the young hippo would return to its home the Rondevlei Nature reserve on the Cape Flats, and then the call came in from a Zeekoevlei resident to report the hippo grazing happily on their lawn. From that moment on kayos broke out and it was Zeekoevlei residents out to witness the spectacle of men wrangling a hippo like cowboys would cattle, ropes and all.
Due to problems with the animals breathing while it was under sedation an antidote had to be given which nearly resulted in the hippo making another great escape. From there on the scene got better with the use of a front end loader to transport the animal from the capture sight back to Rondevlei where he would be kept in a boma until his relocation to Pumba Private Game reserve. Houdini’s original escape was aided by thieves stealing a vehicle from the adjacent property who while committing the crime broke a fence. Houdini could not be returned to Rondevlei as the dominant male on the reserve was becoming less and less tolerable of him and is probably why Houdini was looking for a way out and did not return in fact the dominant bull smashed through a fence and chased Houdini of at one stage.
The end of this story is a happy one with Houdini settled here at Pumba Private Game Reserve and has in fact produced three youngsters in the last year with some of the females on the reserve. They are all seen regularly from the decks of Pumba Water Lodge soaking up the sun. Just to think that if Houdini evaded capture efforts for a few more days it was being considered at the time to shoot him in order to keep the public safe.
Meet Houdini - stay at Pumba!
Stay at Pumba Private Game Reserve for a chance to meet Houdini or some of the many other creatures great and small that live on this pristine game reserve.
Awake to sounds of the African bush as the sun rises from the morning mist, casting a sparkling reflection across the water to the edge of your private deck. In the malaria-free Eastern Cape, Pumba Private Game Reserve provides an intimate African experience never to be forgotten.