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Hippo in pool dies during rescue effort

(AP) MODIMOLLE, South Africa — A hippo who wandered into a swimming pool at a South African game reserve died Friday as a game capture team tried to extract him, a wildlife rescue expert said.

Wildlife rescue expert Simon Prinsloo said the young hippopotamus died even though he had been pouring water on the animal with a bucket first and then through a hose to keep it hydrated.

The plight of the stranded hippo captured the attention of many in South Africa. Live television coverage showed the hippo spout water in the pool. But the lighthearted story became somber when the hippo became inert and appeared lifeless Friday morning.

The hippo went into the pool on Tuesday at the Monate Conservation Lodge near Modimolle, a small town north of Johannesburg. He was probably chased away from his pod of seven hippos in a nearby river by an older male, according to wildlife experts.

The swimming pool was big enough for the hippo to swim in and submerge himself in the water, but it had no steps and there was no way the animal could get out on his own. Rescuers drained water from the pool in the rescue effort and a crane was positioned to hoist the one ton animal.