Saturday, May 3, 2014


 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.