Jan 14, 2010

Escaped Hippopotamus Gets Security Detail, Terrorizes Children with Poop Spray [Runaway Hippo]

With the Facebook Fugitive back in jail, what runaway rapscallion should we cheer for next? How about this two-ton hippopotamus, which escaped from a zoo and now wanders Montenegro with a pair of armed bodyguards.

When an island housing a private zoo in a lake in Montenegro flooded, 11-year-old hippo Nikica staged an escape, bobbing to the top of his cage and swimming to freedom. Zoo officials sent two armed men to find Nikica, who has been roaming the village of Plavnica ever since, stealing food and terrorizing the locals:

Children in the village have been told to stay indoors; sound advice, not only because hippos tend to be grumpy, but also because they spin their tails like rotor blades when excreting. The idea is to mark out the maximum expanse of territory - plainly, it does not do to stand too close.

But since their is underwater, the zoo has nowhere to keep Nikica. So instead, they're paying the armed guys to follow Nikica around and guard him. Local authorities considered killing Nikica, but until the beastly wanderer attacks someone directly, they've agreed to hold their fire.

"When the water warms up and does not seem so threatening, she will return of her own free will," said a zookeeper. "She loves mud more than life itself."

Villagers have taken to laying out hay and stale loaves of bread to slow Nikica's often destructive foraging.

Sidenote: The Telegraph says Nikica is a boy hippo, but The London Times says girl. I'm going with the former, which quotes a zoo person saying "he." [Telegraph] [LondonTimes]

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