Pictured: The hippo who ditched his muddy waters to catch some sun and surf
Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 9:26 PM on 27th May 2008
They are better known for wallowing in swamps rather than their surfing skills but this hippo clearly had a whale of a time splashing around in the ocean.
Spotted in the water near the holiday town of Ballito, near Durban in South Africa, the rare sighting of a hippo catching some waves fascinated residents and wildlife experts alike.
The hippo was spotted swimming in the sea in the South African holiday town of Ballito
The hippo even strayed onto the sand to catch a few rays on the beach at Thompson's Bay and then moved into the water for the afternoon.
Lionel van Schoor from KZN Wildlife says that they have been observing this hippo further north, in Richards Bay and he says it has been moving south for the past two months.
It is thought that the lone young male hippo has wandered from its habitat in Richards Bay
The hippo's life is at risk as he moves further south because he is coming closer to humans and may run out of food
'The animal walks along the beach foraging for food and when he comes across a rocky outcrop he simply goes for a swim in the sea' says Mr Van Schoor.
He could not confirm the sex but did say, 'He is thought to be a young bull, but no one knows for sure.'
The KZN Wildlife Organisation says they are doing whatever they can to protect and preserve this animal.
But they said that darting and relocation was not an option.
'Hippos don't take well to darting' Mr van Schoor explains, 'they die of stress and this one would drown if we darted her in the water, and if we tried to dart her on the beach, she would run into the water for safety and again drown when the drug takes effect.'
The hippo was swimming dangerously close to the shore and even wandered around the beach in between swims
Hippos are usually captured using passive methods such as monitoring paths that they use regularly and setting up enclosures to lure them into.
But Mr Van Schoor says that this hippo's only hope is to stop moving South.
He added: 'If the hippo moves any further south there is huge risk, he is moving into residential areas and towards Durban where food for the hippo will become a problem'.
Hippos are considered to be one of the most dangerous and aggressive of all animals and with this one coming into contact with humans and domestic animals, it could soon become a problem.
Sadly If the hippo does not retrace his own steps and move back north, KZN says there is little hope for him.
"It is a matter of waiting and hoping." says Mr Van Schoor.
- As we all feel the pinch, MPs say: 'Pay us £100,000 a year'
- Repossessions crisis could be worse than 1992, says insurance giant
- Brown signals car-tax U-turn as MPs protest at new blow to poorer families
- A long line of lorries on the road to ruin as truckers join forces for fuel protest
- Driver killed in road rage attack after row with motorist on hard shoulder of M1
- Harry Potter `killer' accused of SIX knifings as victim's stabbed friend faces being paralysed
- Teenager beaten to death in park was 'victim of happy slap attack'
- Five men stabbed after 'Wild West' bar brawl leaves pub 'looking like an abattoir'
- Don't catch any more thieves - the prisons are FULL, say guards
- Neighbour from hell jailed for three months for blasting out Madonna tracks around the clock
- Bin police force residents to hand over personal medical details
- Pet shop worker's week-long fight for life after bite from deadly adder
- GPs ordered to prescribe statins for 1.5m more patients to slash heart attacks and strokes
- Mother freezes her OWN eggs to give her infertile daughter the chance to have a baby
- Woman patient 'had to listen to violent prisoner's catalogue of crimes on mixed-sex ward'
- Dementia will 'affect 1m elderly in a generation'
- Our Post Office is in crisis... So why is its £3m boss having such fun in the sun?
- Three weeks after being elected as Mayor and pledging to 'work flat out'... Boris takes a holiday
- Madeleine reconstruction scrapped after 'suspicious' McCanns refuse to take part
- 'We've won £3.9m on the lottery - now we can afford a caravan'
- Bank customers billed £165 for going £50 into the red
- Derailed by new rules, those brief encounters on the night sleeper
- Emotional John Prescott: I bitterly regret the affair with my secretary
- Listeners blast BBC as 'publicity machine' for Cherie's memoirs... but sales still struggle
- Jailed: Solicitor's wife who stole £80,000 from husband's law firm for fruit machine addiction
- Cambridge students asked to compare Amy Winehouse lyrics with Walter Raleigh poem
- Millions of customers left fuming over poor quality digital TV services
- Grandson of rag and bone man discovers 'Indiana Jones' gold cup may be worth £500,000
- MORE HEADLINES
- So why HAS Jodie Foster left her lesbian lover of 15 years?
- Lewis has his engine purring for Pussycat Doll Nicole
- Pictured: The shocking toll Amy Winehouse's party lifestyle is having on her ravaged skin
- Every adult in Britain should be forced to carry 'carbon ration cards', say MPs
- Love remains buoyant for Pierce Brosnan and wife Keeley in Hawaii
- Lindsay Lohan's lesbian kiss with Mark Ronson's sister in Cannes
- Banish the bulge with Denise Van Outen's body beautiful bikini diet
- Trisha slashes her hair: 'I don't want to look like a cancer victim'
- Boyzone in the buff: Irish boy band reveal their toned bodies at reunion gig
- You are the weakest WAG: Footballers' girls appearance on The Weakest Link makes the (average) mind boggle
- Brangelina splash out £35m on French chateau complete with vineyard and ponies for their expanding brood
- Don't you dare, David! Posh keeps a close eye on Becks as he tries not to ogle basketball cheerleaders again
- Smooth operator: Has TV chef Gordon Ramsay had Botox?
- Kate Beckinsale gives flip flops the flick as she hits Malibu beach in towering wedges
- Aftershocks destroy 420,000 homes as Chinese earthquake misery continues
- Pictured: Jumbo jet splits in two as it tries to take-off
- Has Lewis Hamilton done a U-turn over beauty queen love Vivian? - for Pussycat Nicole?
- 'I'm dragging myself to the gym,' says bride to be Coleen McLoughlin as wedding day draws near
- Champagne, strawberries, make-up and a fag by the pool...Mel B lives the good life
- Picture exclusive: Jodie Foster with the woman she left her lover of 14 years for
- MOST READ IN DETAIL