Jessica 12 years old, hippo… and Lifeguard

26 01 2012

The most famous South African hippo, Jessica, helped her adoptive parents to safety during the floods. The Joubert’s house was submerged by the rising water and Tony Joubert was trying to get his wife to dry land when Jessica started to push the boat with her snout to where her owner was. Jessica was pushing the boat upstream, against the strong current. “I could have fallen had she not guided me”.

During the crossing, the hippo was behind the boat giving to the couple a welcome sense of security. “Her snout was against my leg, urging me on” Tony said. Indeed, hippos move easily in water, either swimming by kicking their hind legs or walking on the bottom. They are well-adapted to their aquatic life, with small ears, eyes and nostrils set at the top of the head.erged by the rising water and Tony Joubert was trying to get his wife to dry land when Jessica started to push the boat with her snout to where her owner was. Jessica was pushing the boat upstream, against the strong current. “I could have fallen had she not guided me” Shirley said.

The Jouberts left their house which was completely under water to seek refuge in their car parked on higher ground. Then they decided to spend the night in their tree house on their property. All surrounding families were evacuated but the Jouberts refuse because they did not want to leave Jessica alone.  “We feel so safe with her, the bound between the three of us had grown even stronger”, Shirley said. Jessica was found 12 years ago on the river Band and has been raised by the Jouberts. This can explain the filial relation between them.
Did you know?

The name hippopotamus comes from the Greek “hippos,” meaning horse; these animals were once called “river horses.”
Hippos spend most of their day in water close to shore lying on their bellies. In areas undisturbed by people, hippos lie on the shore in the morning sun.

To find out more about South Africa please visit our website: www.jenmansafaris.com or feel free to email us on info@jenmansafaris.com to find out more about travel in and around South Africa.


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