This is the moment a huge hippo is filmed prancing across a roundabout in a popular tourist resort with people and traffic just inches away.
The footage shows the massive creature chowing down on a patch of grass before going for a wander on a roundabout.
The hippopotamus had escaped from a circus in the resort town of Roquetas de Mar on the Costa de Almeria in southern Spain’s Andalucia region.
Video Credit: CEN/@Reme_mBer
More than 100 shocked eyewitnesses called the emergency services after spotting the hippo – one of the worlds’s most dangerous animals – walking between palm trees on the landscaped traffic island, near a shopping centre.
Many grabbed their smartphones to film the big animal and later shared the videos on social media. One netizen commented: “A f*cking hippo is walking around here on Eroski roundabout, I am freaking out, freaking out.”
Police quickly determined the hippopotamus had escaped from the Circo Roma Dola travelling circus whose workers successfully recaptured the animal which is called ‘Pipo’.
Local politicians criticised the city council saying they had raised concerns about the way the circus’s animals were cared for and housed.
And the ‘Circos Reunidos Association’ (Joined Circus Association) pressure group said it was not the first time Pipo had escaped from the circus during its travels around Spain.
A spokesman said: “We have nothing against this circus, we simply do not understand how the hippo can escape on several occasions for years. We simply ask owners to take sufficient measures so that it does not happen again.”
Video Credit: CEN/@JrGuillen90
However, Spanish Civil Guard officers said they had checked the circus days earlier. The city council is investigating the incident but has not decided whether to take any action against the circus owners.
The hippopotamus, which is native to sub-Saharan Africa, is regarded among the world’s most dangerous animals as it is highly aggressive and unpredictable.