It’s not easy to be hippopotamus. You have a reputation for being “hungry, hungry,” which is probably well deserved because you weigh as much as 4,000lbs— but that has to give you some serious body image issues.

As if those serious issues weren’t enough for a hippo to have deal with, the animals also have a complex social system that includes bullying. Combine all the above elements with a swimming pool and you have one unfortunate hippopotamus.

That is just what happened to one young hippo just north of Johannesburg, South Africa on Tuesday. Just after his mother gave birth to him, dominant males forced him from the herd. Then he stumbled across the Monate Conservation Lodge and its 8 foot swimming pool. The pool was perfect for the young hippo to swim around in, but there were no steps out of the pool and the hippo was stuck.

Fortunately a game capture team was brought in to sedate the hippo and lift him out of the pool with a crane— a plan dubbed “Operation: Hippo Extraction.”

Thanks to the hippo’s stay and the lodge staff’s generous feeding, the pool will have to be drained to clean up a significant amount of hippo feces.

Update: Regrettably the Hippo died before he could be rescued from the pool.

Image courtesy Vasenka on flickr

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