Saturday, May 3, 2014

CAMERA CRITTERS AND SATURDAY'S CRITTERS

 I have been sharing several posts from Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park lately.  You can find this park in Florida.  Today I am sharing their resident hippo Lu.  Lu is short for Lucifer.



 Their sign in front of Lu's enclosure reads:

"Why do we have an African hippo in a Florida State Park?  Lu was born in San Diego Zoo in 1960, and has been a resident of Homosassa Springs since 1964.  In his youth Lu was part of Ivan Tours Animal Actors, and starred on television and in movies.


 When the State of Florida purchased the former attraction in 1989, it set about finding homes for the exotic animals.  Hundreds of letters were sent by local residents to the then governor, Lawton Chiles, asking him to allow Lu to remain at the park.  The governor declared Lu to be an Honorary Citizen of the State of Florida so he could live out his days at the park."

(Added note: when the park was turned over to the State of Florida, Lu would have been removed because he was non-native wildlife.)



 "Hippopotami are semi-aquatic animals that live on both land and in the water.  They typically spend most of their time in the water, however, which helps to support their enormous weight.  Lu weighed a mere 90 pounds at birth.  Today he easily exceeds 6,000 pounds, which is near the maximum estimated weight of older male hippos in the wild (7100 lbs.)  Hippos grow to a height of about 5 feet at the shoulder, and will measure between 11 and 17 feet in length."


 "Hippos are vegetarians.  To maintain his size and weight Lu consumes 15 pounds of alfalfa, four scoops of herbivore diet food and a five-gallon bucket of fruit and vegetables every day.  Each January on his birthday Lu receives a special birthday cake.  Local school children attend his party."


 "Hippos live 40 to 50 years in the wild.  Captive hippos can live to the age of 60 years or more."



 

 I sure hope Lu is a happy hippo.



~~~~~~~


I am joining Misty's Camera Critters 




  Thank you for hosting these great memes ladies.

52 comments:

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Yes I do hope Lu is a happy Hippo. She looks lovely and great to see the shots close up. Have a great weekend.

Ela said...

What a sweet huge creature.I think Lu is lovely :)
Have a happy weekend :)

eileeninmd said...

Denise, cool photos of Lu the Hippo! He must be happy in Florida. Thank you for sharing with my critter party, have a happy weekend!

diane b said...

A great post lots of info, fab photos, and a laugh.,

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

That's a whole lotta hippo!

Country Gal said...

Nice photos . Hope Lu lives a happy long life ! Thanks for sharing . Have a good day !

Naquillity said...

i hope Lu is happy too. so good to see that a hippo can exceed lifespan in captivity, 10 extra years of life. they seem to consume a great amount of food though, wow... have a great day~

Adam said...

despite their looks, I hear they're one of most dangerous animals in Africa (though I assume zoo-raised ones are far more tame) and can be very anti-human

TexWisGirl said...

i hope he is, too. sorry he's alone!

Karen S. said...

I hope so too. Your photos just make me want to hug him. I do know that's not a good thing, to ever do in real life!

Sandra said...

he is a beauty, and looks happy to me... i live 90 miles from Lu and didnot know the park or Lu was there until you started to share. thanks

carol l mckenna said...

Wonderful shots of the Hippo ~ for SC ~ Happy Weekend to you ~ xoxo

artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

sandyland said...

Hippos are fascinating . Hope you like tomorrow's post about something to prettify your flowers in the yard

William Kendall said...

Magnificent fellow.

kissed by an angel said...

Hippos are so interesting beings!!!
For me it's not so easy to see animals behind bars and so I'm not sure if Lu is a really happy Hippo...but I hope Lu is it a little bit.
I wish you and Gregg a wonderful weekend :)
Enjoy a good time!!!

Gunilla Bäck said...

Fascinating animal. I hope he gets to live a good life.

Ginny said...

I LOVE it!!! And he is SO cute and tubby!!! And I love your detailed close-ups, they are so cool! I had never much cared for hippos until I stopped by here! I think it must be that he is so clean and not covered with mud, that way I can get a great look at him.

Ginny said...

Forgot to say I love your header. The duck looks so real!

Kay said...

It is amazing how big these animals are but how they can glide through the water as if they didn't weigh as much as they do.

Karen said...

What a sweet old guy! I'm happy he has a nice place to retire. Great shots!

Em Parkinson said...

Lu is gorgeous. She appears to ahve lost a front leg in the second picture!

Elephant's Child said...

Echoing Adam, and wondering whether that is where Lu(cifers) full name came from.
He looks truly relaxed and blissed out in these shots though. Thank you.

Ranita Sinha said...

Such beautiful clicks of the animal..the close ups seem Lu has posed for you..loved the post Denise..

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

My creases aren't nearly as bad as his :) Thanks for posting this Denise --I'll have extra dessert tonight.

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

A very nice piece. I hopeLu is happy too. If had not joined WW I might weigh 7100 lb. too. Happy Days!

Karen said...

Beautiful shots of Lu, he looks kind of sad but content at the same time. But then again, I'm a human and don't know what goes through a hippo's mind.

Jocee said...

Great photos of a handsome dude.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

He's huge! Interesting story.

SquirrelQueen said...

I am glad the park allowed him to stay. He looks happy but probably wishes for a friend.
Happy Weekend!

Daniel LaFrance said...

I've read that they are pretty swift on their feet too.

An impressive critter!

Raggedy Creations said...

Lu does look very contented and boy is he one BIG dude. Thanks so much for sharing....i enjoyed this post.

Linda said...

Wow, 6,000 pounds! Lu is a hungry hungry hippo!

Mary said...

Great photos of Lu! Love this. We had the oldest hippo in captivity at our zoo, but she finally had to be put to sleep a year or so ago. They do live to be very old.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

Poor old Lu. I suppose he's in the best place. Great photos.

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Denise,

Lovely photos of Lu the happy hippo.
Always fun to take a trip to the zoo and see the animals.
Happy Sunday
Carolyn

Linda W. said...

Nice story about your resident hippo! Great photos too.

Rose ~ from Oz said...

Oh the dear darling boy! He's a middle-aged bloke, and I too so hope he is happy - as happy as a spoilt and well looked after hippo can be in captivity. It does sound like they take wonderful care of him. I hope he has lots of water to float and wade in.

orvokki said...

Cute :) lovely Hippo.
And beautiful photos too.
Hugs

Kay said...

I've heard how hippos can be very dangerous, but it's hard to believe when they look so gentle and sleepy like Lu. I hope she's a happy hippo too.

Valerie said...

He should have a mate but I guess visitors to the Park are his friends.

EG CameraGirl said...

Lu looks content so I bet she's happy too.

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

I didn't know that the park had been turned over to the State!! Being a Floridian native (3rd generation)I'm thrilled to see the springs being kept up and especially Lu!! Great shots and it looks like you had a wonderful time!

lina@a happy family said...

Amazing hippo!

SeagullSuzie said...

What a lovely story, I hope he's happy too!

Brian King said...

How cool! I've never met an animal actor. :-) Glad they let him stay.

Pat said...

He's a magnificent animal!

Linda Gross said...

Nice close up pics of Lu.

gigihawaii said...

Great photos! I was surprised that he was a movie actor during his younger days. Who would have guessed? Lol.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Denise, it seems that Lucifer has found a nice home and yes he does seem as happy and content as a hippo can be, but who knows?

Susan said...

How brilliant - I love how Lu has become loved so much by the surrounding communities.
He certainly looks content and is well cared for :D)

Gail Dixon said...

I do hope he is happy there. Really enjoyed learning more about hippos. Your photos of his feet are awesome.

pattisjarrett said...

An Honorary Citizen--it warms my heart to know Lu has a good home to live out his days.