Equipped with a hydraulic crane and a cage, hippo hunter Chris Hobkirk and his team from the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Association set to work. In a four-hour operation, they drained the tank and used poles to gently nudge the hippo into the 3m-long (10ft) steel cage before winching it to safety.
Mr Hobkirk – who has rescued more than 180 stranded hippos in the past six years – said it was a tricky procedure but he was glad with the outcome.
'Maybe we got lucky with this one. In the past, I have removed hippos from small dams. In those cases, the water levels have always been much lower so this was different.'
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