Hippo surprise

Grumeti | May 2016

The hippo population at Sasakwa Dam has experienced a rather slow growth rate since the Singita Grumeti concession was acquired and conservation work began in 2002. A big bull hippo first arrived at the dam around 2008, and has remained the dam’s primary resident ever since. Some months after the big bull’s arrival he was joined by two females, and the three occupied the dam for about two years.

In 2010, Grumeti experienced a particularly rainy, rainy season. Intense flooding caused the Sasakwa Dam wall to collapse, and all of the water came flowing out emptying the dam. With the water went the hippos. The dam was swiftly repaired, and the bull hippo soon returned, but the two females were not with him.

For three years the big bull was the solitary occupant of the dam. Then, in mid 2013, two females appeared at the dam. Some eight months later, a tiny baby hippo was born, bringing the dam’s population up to four. This soon turned back to three when the female without a calf, left.

Then, this May, we were blown away with surprise when seven hippos were seen at the dam. Four new hippos, two females, a sub-adult male, and one six-month-old calf, had joined the three residents at Sasakwa Dam. They remained at the dam throughout the month and we hope they continue to stay. We are excited to see what the next chapter holds for the Sasakwa Dam hippos.