Inquisitive motorists brought traffic in Richards Bay to a virtual standstill on Monday evening, all in a bid to get a closer look at a hippo grazing alongside the road, reports Zululand Observer.
It was just after 5pm when traffic became backed up as the motorists – in peak rush hour – stopped and got out of their cars.
Some came within 20m of the hippo, which was about 30m from the roadside.
“It was chaos. People were parked on the road, getting out of their cars, some even trying to take selfies as close to the animal as they could,” said one motorist.
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife was notified and Phumla Zulu attended the scene.
“I had to move people away from the hippo, as they are dangerous animals that, when feeling threatened, can charge people and cause serious harm,” said Zulu.
Any wild animal will become defensive and attack when provoked, and provocation need only be one person a bit too close to it.
“We all know there are hippos in this area, so when people see them they must just slow down and drive past,” said Zulu.
“Respect the animal and give it some space.”