Solly Hippo Dies Just Before Rescue: Solly,

a young South African hippo that got stuck in a swimming pool after being kicked out of his herd, died

Friday morning before a crane could lift him to freedom. 

The animal fell into the guest pool at the Monate Conservation Lodge on Tuesday, but died from stress

before a major rescue operation could be launched, said manager Ruby Ferreira.

"Our hearts are broken because we couldn't save Solly," an emotional Ferreira told AFP. "We saw this morning Solly was stressed a bit more than yesterday."

The hippo was turned out of his herd on the reserve 110 kilometers (70 miles) north of Pretoria when his

mother had another calf.

While wandering around alone he fell into the pool and couldn't get out.

His plight caught animal-lovers'

attention, with images showing him peeking at onlookers with just his nose and eyes sticking out from the


Ferreira said the veterinarian hired to sedate Solly on Friday arrived four hours late.

"If he came yesterday Solly would definitely have a 60- to 80-percent chance of survival," she said.

"Hippos are sensitive creatures. They die very easily of stress."

AFP/Photo Credit: Beeld