|This page contains material which is kept because it is considered humorous. Please do not take it seriously.|
It is a little known fact that there are hippopotomi roaming wild throughout the heartland of the United States. While most people think of hippos as very agressive, the hippos in the US are rarely seen and rather shy. Only an experienced hippo spotter can spot a hippo when it is hiding in either the suburbs or countryside. Hippos rarely live in the heart of cities, unless being kept as pets. Hippos can be sucessfully kept as pets, also contrary to popular belief. 
History of hippos in central Illinois
In the 1800’s, a military group was sent to central Illinois. This military group was mounted on horses. Now, back then central Illinois was rather marshy, which caused some problems. The horses, because they weren't well adapted to this climate, and because their weight is spread on such a small surface area, often got bogged down. The de-bogging of horses wasted a lot of time. Also, horses were impractical because the more they carried, the easier it was for them to get bogged down. To solve this problem, the military asked for a herd of pygmy hippos. The pigmy hippos worked wonderfully. In general some domestic animals escape, and the hippos were no exception. After they escaped, they bred, and spread to other areas of the country. Now, about two hundred years later, there are hundreds of hippos running around Illinois, and the whole United States as well, with very few Americans knowing it.
Where are You getting this information? I have been unable to confirm this story, with Google queries. I would like to know if there is any substance to your claim, so please provide a reference.
The government won't admit that wild hippos exist in the US, and can occasionally be a problem. In order to keep up this deception, the hippos must be kept from settling too close to humans, and the population in a given area must be controlled. To do this there is a special type of railroad car. It is flat and open, similar to flatcars. On top of the platform, however, there are two metal poles sticking straight up and connected at the top by a bar.
What the government does is it leaves these cars parked in one place for a while. Young hippos think that they are play toys, and climb onto the cars. Then the railroad operators move the cars with the hippos on them. The parents can hardly let their kids go without them, so the adults follow the train. When the train stops, the poor baby hippos get off, and the hippos have been successfully relocated.
These cars are rarely seen with hippos on them, for two reasons. Firstly, if hippos were seen on them, the deception that there are no wild hippos would be broken. Secondly, there are so few of these cars that they are constantly moved around the country to whichever area needs them most.
==Camouflage== This don't know nuttin'!!!
The hippos long ago learned how to adapt to living near humans, and one of their most important concerns is camouflage. Most people would run for the nearest phone to call a Humane society or the local animal control group. Since the hippos would rather not have humans removing them from the wilderness, which is what would happen if they were spotted, they have long since learned that they cannot graze in a field without camouflage.
Since a hippo as such cannot easily blend into the landscape, they instead settle on disguises- mainly costumes of other animals. They have cattle costumes, horse costumes, sheep costumes, even llama costumes and several others. By simply dressing up as a bovine or horse, a hippo can hide in plain sight throughout the countryside. Generally they stay away from the road slightly, as even on stilts and with a costume the anatomy of a hippo is slightly different from that of a horse. Impressively though, approximately a quarter of the herds of cattle are really hippos in disguise, cows being the more common disguise, as it is more comfortable.
Did you ever wonder why collage dorms close early in the wintertime? Well, though the collages would rather die than admit it, this is part of an attempt to thwart hippos.
Colleges close their doors early come wintertime. They do this to keep the hippos out. Since it is so cold outside, the hippos naturally look for a warm place to spend the night, like the dorm.
Since this is true, they naturally head for the dorms after a day of grazing in cow costumes. When they get to the dorms however, they find that the doors have been locked, and they have no way to get in. The poor hippos have been locked out!
Once, about three or four years ago, a U of I barn burnt down. How most people say it happened doesn't really matter. What happened was this:
Several hippos were stuck outside one cold night because they couldn't get in the dorms. To warm themselves up, they built a small fire next to a barn to keep the wind from blowing it out. This fire kept them nice and cozy.
Then a spark somehow left the fire and landed on the barn. The barn caught fire and was soon lit up like a torch. The hippos tried their very best to save the buildings, but all their attempts were useless. The fire extinguishers were made for creatures with opposable thumbs. There were no water pipes to the barn, so it ended up burning.
Every once in a while we read in the newspaper about some crazy teenage drivers who drive though innocent farmer's corn fields. But crazy teenagers driving off the road did not make these tracks as most suppose. No, these tracks were made by hippos performing their mating ritual. You see, when hippos do their mating rituals, they put on shoes with soles like tires, and run in pairs though innocent farmers corn fields. The tracks left by these hippos look a lot like tire tracks, as it should. For the hippos try to make it look like crazy teenage drivers as much as possible, so as not to throw suspicion on themselves.
Zion National Park
On a trip west a few years ago my family took a tour of Zion National Park. The tour guide stopped us in one place and pointed out a valley in one mountain. She first asked the group “What do you think made this valley?” In answer to this question, both my dad and I said from different sides of the group “Hippos!”. The poor guide was rather confused. When you hear a crazy answer coming from one person you can safely suppose that person is odd and ignore them, but what do you do when you hear it coming from both sides of your group at the same time? The guide managed to get over her confusion though, and continued with her speech saying,
“This valley is formed by snow melt running down the cliff side and slowly wearing away the rock.”
This just goes to show how little some tour guides know. For this valley really was formed by hippos, wearing a trail from their homes on top of the cliff to the lake at the bottom. The hippos would walk down from their homes to get a drink. After many years, all those hippos going down the cliff the same way wore a valley in the cliff.
If you go up there now, however, you will find no evidence of hippos. This is because all of the traces have long been worn away and the hippos moved away. The hippos moved away when tourists started to come to see the ‘wonders of nature’. It began to get crowded, and hard to stay out of sight when collecting water, which was the secretive hippos greatest wish. And the ‘wonders of nature’ are not wonders of nature at all by the way, but the work of giant baby hippos, let to play in the sand.
Behind my house there is a lake. Most believe that it was formed by miners, or some other such fiddle-faddle. Really this lake was formed by hippos.
A long time ago the hippos inhabiting the US were much bigger. These hippos created such things as are now in Zion and Arches National Park. Another thing they created was the lake behind my house.
They un-consciously created the lake by setting up a swing set. The little hippos loved to swing and would be content to swing all day long (with breaks for meals of course). After a while, a depression grew underneath the swing, like any other swing. This depression was always filled with water. Finally, the little hippos got so annoyed with splashing in the puddle that they got Daddy hippo to move the swing.
The swing was very heavy, for it takes a lot of support to hold up a very large hippo. The swing was so heavy though, that Daddy hippo wasn't able to move it very far. The little hippos had to be content with that.
They played and played, but again a depression formed. All Daddy Hippo had really been able to do was move it twenty feet and rotate it ninety degrees. This turned out to be so close that the two puddles merged, creating the lake behind my house, which is shaped like a capital ‘L’.
Once this area began to get populated however, the hippos had to move. They are currently somewhere in Antarctica, I believe.
Did you know that elephants really evolved from hippos? Well they have, and all because of a little hippo named Henrietta who didn't obey her Mother.
Henrietta was a very curious and naughty hippo. So naturally when her mother told her to go out and play, but not to go anywhere near the swamp, the swamp was where she headed.
Upon reaching the swamp, she looked around. It was a very dull, dismal place. The only thing of any interest was the lake off to one side. It looked so cool and refreshing. Henrietta headed over to it to take a swim.
When she got to the lake, Henrietta looked in. The water was so blue. You could almost see the bottom. Then it happened. An alligator bit her nose. Henrietta screamed, and tried to pull away. She hooked her legs around a near-by tree and held on for dear life. The alligator meanwhile was still trying to pull her into the lake by her nose. Finally he gave up and let go. Then he swam back into the lake to await more victims.
Henrietta ran away from that lake as fast as she could, and you really can't blame her. In her haste, she managed to get lost. Once she noticed this, she tried to get un-lost, but her work was to no avail. Henrietta sat down and cried.
She cried for two reasons. One, the obvious reason of being lost, and two, because her nose, one of her best features, was now stretched out of recognition. You see, when the alligator pulled at her nose, it responded to the stress by becoming longer and thinner, like the earth's crust. Henrietta wasn't pleased with this at all. Still she was alive.
Soon, Henrietta stopped crying. She stood up and looked around. There was a lake! Could it be the same one? She walked over to it and looked in. It didn't look bad. In fact, there was no sign of an alligator at all. Henrietta waited for him to appear, if he was there. But none showed up. It was so hot. So Henrietta dipped a toe into the water. The water was so cool! So Henrietta put all four legs into the water.
The alligator had gone home and gotten three siblings. They were planning on how to trick Henrietta into the lake when she stepped in of her own free will! The alligators slowly surrounded her.
Meanwhile, Henrietta was getting nervous. What was that splash from? She thought. Then she saw the alligators, and turned to flee.
The alligators sensed that she had seen them, and together rushed up to her. Each alligator bit Henrietta on the leg, but not before she had gotten far enough to be able to hook her nose round the nearest tree. If her nose wasn't stretched enough before, it was being stretched some more. And her legs were being stretched as well!
Just then a party of hippos arrived on the scene to save Henrietta. Henrietta’s Mother had sent them. She had become frantic after she couldn't find Henrietta, and sent out a search party. It was common sense to her that Henrietta would be in the swamp.
So now you know the story of how the first elephant came to be. As it turns out, Bison, Giraffes, Javelinas (small pig like animals (that are not pigs)), and a number of other animals (including domestic animals such as cows) came from hippos as well. Bison are just very old hippos that have grown all hairy. Giraffes just got stretched more than Henrietta. When they decided to move to the savanna, the colors came naturally.
Hippos are related to cows and whales too, believe it or not. Cows are related in much the same way as the elephants. Whales are hippos that were the better swimmers. Some hippos decided to spend all their time in water, instead of being both a land and sea creature, so they became whales.
There was a recent article in the Champaign Urbana New Gazette (Sunday 9/23/01 page A-8). This article was about hippos, cows and whales being related. It said, that Philip Gingerich, a professor of geology and paleontology at the University of Michigan said, “Our colleagues might be right that hippos are related”.
My Dad recently went on a business trip to Arizona. He came back with two books about havilinas. Havilenas are little animals that look like pigs but are not pigs. In fact, one of the books was titled "Don't call me pig!" (By Conrad J Storad). The other book is entitled The Three Little Javelinas (by Susan Lowell) in it states that "they are also related to the hippopotamus".
Kickapoo State Park
Now that you have met Henrietta, I shall introduce you to one of her relations. Now this relations name was Henry, and he was one of the big hippos. One day he decided that he wanted to plant some vegetables. First he knew that he had to plow a furrow to plant the seeds in. To make this furrow, he decided he would go ask Paul Bunyan to see if he could borrow Babe, Paul’s big blue ox. Paul consented, and Henry borrowed Babe and hitched up a plow to the ox. Since this was the first time Henry had ever plowed, he couldn’t get Babe or the plow to go straight. Soon he had several furrows that crisscrossed each other, and weren’t at all straight. Henry got so discouraged by this that he completely gave up on the project. The furrows are still there though. Soon after Henry made them, they filled up and formed several lakes, and became Kickapoo State Park.
Every year around the first of October, all the hippos that live in central Illinois all get together for a big dancing festival. For some reason unbeknownst to me, hippos love to do circular dances, and when they do circular dances, they must be done in a perfect circle. To accomplish this, the hippos pick a small group to arrive at the dance field early and mark out a clear circle 25 feet in diameter for the hippos to dance on. This year the hippos were not too wise about the place they chose for their dance. Instead of picking a field that had already been harvested like they normally do, this year the hippos picked the historic Morrow Plots at the University of Illinois, which hadn’t been harvested yet.
Needless to say, when morning came the people at the U of I were not overly impressed. According to Gary Beaumont, spokesman for the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, an investigation is under way to find out who did this. Luckily for the hippos they believe it was done by vandals. In future I hope the hippos pick a better place for their revels.
Hippos in Illinois
A quick glance at the following article suggests that there actually are hippos running free. This suggestion supports what I have just told you about hippos. Therefore, please don't discredit what I have told you directly as false.
- "It's the hippopotahouse". Retrieved 2008-05-22.
The hippos found in Illinois can be located by going through the gates of Asakrahn while entering into the lost city of Atlantis. There you will see hippos and the infamous Unicorn as well.