Eish, what has lockdown done to us? We’re almost certainly at the point of the pandemic where months of fear, trauma, and grief has collectively driven the South African public around the bend: The rumour mill went into overdrive on Sunday, when it was alleged that the roaming ‘Fourways hippo’ had been captured, killed and eaten by locals.

Has the Fourways hippo been killed and eaten?

Yesterday, ‘Fourways hippo’ was South Africa’s top trend on Twitter – because of a picture sent the online community wild: Unfortunately, it does depict a group of men cutting the meat off a dead hippo, and many were convinced they had ample proof that showed the escaped Fourways creature had been slaughtered.

It’s fake news, guys…

Our hearts were ready to break reading this. Since those beachgoers in Clifton slaughtered that sheep, things haven’t been right. The unceremonious killing of the Fourways hippo would, therefore surely, finish us all off. But, for those of you already halfway through dialing the SPCA, we’ve got some good news for you. This rumour is completely false.

  • The allegations were nothing more than a dark-humoured joke from the Twitter-verse
  • The picture of the hippo being used for meat has been traced to an incident in Kenya, and not SA.
  • The reported slaughter of a goat in the region has been conflated with the ‘Fourways hippo gossip’.

Where is the Fourways hippo now?

At the end of last week, The Gauteng Agriculture Department explained that the Fourways hippo is no longer cutting about the urban jungle. Instead, they believe the semiaquatic mammal has gone back up to Hartbeespoort Dam. They’ve warned anyone who sees the hippo to avoid going near it. We can’t imagine they want people eating it, either…

“We are now working closely with the North West provincial government to increase efforts to find the elusive mammal. The department believes that the hippo had moved up the Crocodile River and has returned to Hartbeespoort Dam. If you do come across the animal, don’t do anything aside from report its whereabouts.”

The Gauteng Agriculture Department


Presh JM Reporter

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