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 Huberta “(the Hippo)”

Photo added by J.A. & D.S.

Huberta “(the Hippo)”

  • Birth unknown
  • Death Apr 1931 South Africa
  • Burial Non-Cemetery Burial, Specifically: She is displayed at Amathole Museum in King William's Town
  • Memorial ID 47624418

Huberta was a hippopotamus and one of the most famous animals in South African history.
In November 1928 Huberta left her waterhole in the St. Lucia Estuary in Zululand and set off on the 1600 km (1000 mi) journey to the Eastern Cape, a journey which would take her three years. In that time Huberta became a minor celebrity in South Africa and attracted crowds wherever she went. She was initially thought to be a male and was nicknamed Hubert by the press.
She stopped for a while at the mouth of the Mhlanga River in Natal and a failed attempt was made to capture her and put her in Johannesburg Zoo. After this she headed south to Durban where she visited a beach and a country club.
Moving on to the Umgeni River she became revered by Zulus and Xhosas alike.
Finally she arrived in East London in March 1931. Despite her having been declared Royal Game (and thus protected) by the Natal Provincial Council, she was shot by hunters a month later.
After a public outcry the hunters were arrested and fined £25. Huberta's body was recovered and sent to a taxidermist in London. Upon her return to South Africa in 1932 she was greeted by 20,000 people and can now be seen in the Amathole Museum in King William's Town.
(-- Courtesy of

I wanted to say Thank You to Susie and Bazil Bone for sponsoring this memorial. Your kindness did not go unnoticed. You are truly remarkable and generous.

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  • Created by: J.A. & D.S.
  • Added: 5 Feb 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 47624418
  • Susie
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Huberta “(the Hippo)” (unknown–Apr 1931), Find A Grave Memorial no. 47624418, ; Maintained by J.A. & D.S. (contributor 46808935) Non-Cemetery Burial, who reports a She is displayed at Amathole Museum in King William's Town.