Hippopotamus Camps in Village After Flood Waters Rise and Help Her Escape

PLAVNICA, Montenegro, Jan. 14 (UPI) — Officials with a Montenegro zoo said a hippo that swam to freedom when flood waters overtook her cage does not pose any threats to nearby residents. Dragan Pejovic, owner of the private zoo on a small Lake Skadar island, said 11-year-old Nikica the hippo swam to shore this week when the facility was completely submerged and has since been wandering the village of Plavnica with a pair of armed security guards following closely, The Times of London reported Thursday. However, Pejovic said the animal does not pose any threats to locals unless she is provoked. “Nikica does not represent a threat to anyone,” he said, “unless someone attacks and kicks her.” Authorities have pledged to steer clear of Nikica unless she harms someone and zookeepers said they expect the animal to return home on her own accord once the flood waters recede. “When the water warms up and does not seem so threatening, she will return of her own free will,” one zookeeper said. “She loves mud more than life itself.” Copyright 2010 by United Press International

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