The most popular local legend is that in 1915 a circus train stopped in Hutto at the train depot to take on passengers, pick up and deliver mail, and possibly take on water and fuel for the steam locomotive. The circus train workers also would have taken this opportunity to care for their animals. At some point during this historic layover, a hippopotamus got out of the rail-car and made its way to the nearby Cottonwood Creek, which is next to the rail line.
This caused much consternation for the circus workers. Local farmers and merchants watched the commotion in amusement and with interest as unsuccessful efforts were made to extricate the hippopotamus from the muddy waters of Cottonwood Creek. The Depot Agent telegraphed the communities of Taylor and Round Rock that were eight miles to the east and west of Hutto to the effect of: Stop trains! Hippo loose in Hutto.
After much effort, the hippo was prodded from the mud and water that resembled its natural habitat and was reloaded back onto the train car. Soon afterward the Hutto school adopted the hippopotamus as its mascot and as early as 1923 the hippo appeared on official Hutto High School graduation announcements.
The San Diego Zoo is a helpful resource for captive Hippo research. Their first hippo came to The San Diego Zoo in 1936 after being born in the Brownfield Zoo of Chicago, IL. His name was Puddles and he was the first captive Hippo of the West coast. It was Rube and Ruby, however, that put hippopotamuses on the map of zoo popularity. They arrived at the Zoo in 1940 and produced 11 offspring during their time together. Hippos in captivity generally live to be 25 to 30 years of age, but Rube lived to be 51 years old, making him the oldest hippo in captivity. The hippo exhibit of The San Diego Zoo was updated and re-opened in 1995. It features an up close and personal view of a hippo's life in captivity both above and below water!
Hippopotamus are not considered endangered today, but their habitats are being greatly reduced with each year that passes. Aggressive hippo and human encounters are on the rise due to more and more human development overlapping hippo territory. Humans also hunt the hippos for their ivory tusks that have only grown in demand. The result of a substantial decrease in hippo populations would greatly effects others along its food chain. Hippos have many symbiotic relationships with the nature around them. Their large amount of feces fertilizes the African soil, and many fish species feed off their waste and parasites of the skin. Little effort has made in the direction of hippo conservation at this time. The best human effort that can be made is to protect the large amounts of land required by the hippopotamus' survival.
One way that you can help support Link is to symbolically adopt him! Your contribution will go towards his day to day care at the park and because Tanganyika Wildlife Park is family-owned and receives no government subsidies, it is only with your help that we can continue to have a significant impact in the stewardship of pygmy hippos and our other symbolically adoptable animals.We all know someone who wants a hippopotamus for Christmas, so now is your chance! 59ce067264