News

Zorro the Hippo has Died

20 December 2010

The much-loved and popular Zorro the hippo is dead. He was attacked by a white rhinoceros bull in his new home in the Fairy Glen Reserve, near Worcester.

Zorro became famous after his escape from Rondevlei Nature Reserve in 2009, when after being attacked and forced out of the reserve by his father; he made a temporary home in the Strandfontein sewage works. After an eighteen (18) month stay he was captured and taken to Fairy Glen Reserve on 5 July 2010.

Very few of the City of Cape Town's nature reserves have a suitable habitat for hippopotami and those which do, have inadequate fencing. As such the City decided to find a new home for Zorro and he was transported to the Fairy Glen Reserve.

According to the game warden at Fairy Glen, Denis Pothas, Zorro initially kept to the water for most of the time, but after starting to feel more at home, he could be seen moving around the reserve a lot more.

When the City's veterinarian, Dr Elzette Jordan, visited the reserve on 29 November it appeared that he had settled down and was in good health. During the visit she was warned to be alert, as a white rhinoceros bull in the reserve was behaving aggressively due to the cows coming into heat.

When the City was informed of Zorro's demise, City officials contacted Denis Pothas to find out what had happened. The City was informed that Zorro was out of the water when he was attacked by the rhinoceros bull.

No other details are known at this stage and the Fairy Glen Reserve has indicated that are preparing a report to officially inform the City of Zorro's death.

Many City officials are saddened to hear of Zorro's untimely death as they established a close bond with him in the months that were spent trying to capture him. Zorro was also very popular with many of the residents of Cape Town thanks to the extensive media coverage of his escapades.

Issued by:
Communication Department
City of Cape Town

Media Enquiries: 

Dr Elzette Jordan
Veterinarian
Biodiversity Management Branch,
Environmental Resource Management Department
City of Cape Town
Tel: 021 851 6982
Cell: 084 222 1409