Hippo surfs flood waters to freedom

By Daniel Collins 12/03/2010

From flooded elephant research sites to flooded zoos…

Back in January heavy rains flooded a private zoo in Plavinca, Montenegro. 2-ton and 11-year old hippopotamus Nikica flew the coop by swimming over her submerged cage. The natural disasters commission wasn’t happy, and thought they might be able to shoot her. The state veterinary authorities thought otherwise, saying she wasn’t threatening. Apparently when Nikica escapes, she wanders over to the folks in the nearby village but would return of her own accord:

“When the water warms up and does not seem so threatening, she will return of her own free will,”… “She loves mud more than life itself.”

Nonetheless, zoo security were on the case. Food was left out for her. And when flood waters receded, she apparently [was] returned to her enclosure.