January 30, 2003 3:24 PM   Subscribe


thomcatspike: that is exactly what I thought... I hope someone tells the squatters.

Aside from that, it's pretty cool! Wonder if they'll settle into a vacancy in the ecosystem, or wreak havoc (read kudzu in Georgia, or mice in Australia).
posted by silusGROK at 3:40 PM on January 30, 2003

"Hippos Roam Colombian Drug Lord's Abandoned Ranch. "

I swear to God I thought that said "Hippies", and my first reaction was "Well, duh!"
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:44 PM on January 30, 2003

I read this story about a week ago, but it is none the less facinating. The one aspect not brought up is the *real* reason Escobar had these animals on his ranch: essentially, since smaller animals (i.e., drug-sniffing dogs) are naturally wary of larger animals (i.e., hippos, elephants, lions, etc), they would pack some of these beasts' dung in with the the cocaine shipments. If/when drug-sniffing dogs got near, they would shy away and not alert their handlers to the presence of cocaine.

Also, for a interesting read on Pablo Escobar, I'd highly recommend checking out "Killing Pablo" by Mark Bowden (who also wrote Black Hawk Down).
posted by dicaxpuella at 3:46 PM on January 30, 2003

Oh brother.., can you imagine if they were to find there way into the Gulf of Mexico...
posted by thomcatspike at 3:49 PM on January 30, 2003

Are hippos salt-water adept?

I realize that they're not fish... but some animals just don't do salt water.

And if they are, what are you thinking, thom, that the great whites would finally have something to eat other than vacationing Americans?
posted by silusGROK at 3:53 PM on January 30, 2003

Really tangential but irresistible: lyrics to hippopotamus songs, including the eponymous Flanders and Swann classic and I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas (one of iconomy's fave xmas MP3s).
posted by mcwetboy at 3:53 PM on January 30, 2003

That's great! Long live the Hippos!
posted by Plunge at 4:02 PM on January 30, 2003

Not sure of great whites in the gulf of mexico, the coast of California, yea. But thinking of Cali, The Jungle Gulf Cruise. Plus they are a mammal so why wouldn't they adapt in salt water other than skin irritation?
posted by thomcatspike at 4:19 PM on January 30, 2003

I like to add my first comment I heard on the animal network while a hot chic was brushing some large hippo's teeth. They use their front teeth for defending themselves.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:22 PM on January 30, 2003

It's like a villa after the fall of the Roman Empire, somthing out of a Fellini film. Would love to see pictures.
posted by stbalbach at 4:42 PM on January 30, 2003

If/when drug-sniffing dogs got near, they would shy away and not alert their handlers to the presence of cocaine.

I seriously question the veracity of this theory (which is a nice way to say I call bullshit on it ;>). It's not true that smaller animals are naturally wary of bigger animals, in fact the opposite is often true, and is definitely true with canids: most wild dogs hunt big animals (african wild dogs hunt wildebeest, wolves hunt caribou) and domestic dogs herd cattle, hunt lions and chase bears quite happily. There's also no way that a dog would know that a given manure smell was necessarily from a big animal unless it had been exposed to that specific animal before (it would know it was a herbivore, but not that it was a big herbivore). A specific dog who'd had a bad experience with a hippo might be wary of hippos in future, but probably not of hippo dung (dogs are rarely wary of dung, no matter where it comes from, as anyone with a dog can attest), but unless Escobar had arranged for all drug-sniffing dogs to have bad experiences with hippo dung, I suspect there was some other reason for the hippos (perhaps their dung was smelly enough to successfully mask the drugs' smell? That I would buy).
posted by biscotti at 4:50 PM on January 30, 2003

Oh come on! There are great whites _everywhere_! Just watch the movies!

Speaking of movies: the next JAWS should be filmed in Venice... during high tide, when a lot of the plazas are a little flooded! I can just picture a gondolier getting chomped... or a great white in someone's basement... or a fin making a mad-dash through the knee-deep water in St. Peter's (?) square.
posted by silusGROK at 5:26 PM on January 30, 2003

Imagine the stories those children can grow up to tell.

Imagine what Marcos the truck driver could write about.

Not sure if it could seed a good movie tho. I wonder what kind of medium such stories could be converted into aside from books.
posted by firestorm at 5:44 PM on January 30, 2003

I read this as "Hippies Roam Colombian Drug Lord's Abandoned Ranch." Equally strange.

Oops--crash already said that. crash, you're as weird as me.
posted by Shane at 5:33 AM on January 31, 2003

oddly enough, my girlfriend's grandmother is from Medellin and supposedly used to hire Pablo Escobar to wash her car when she was little.

Talk about supporting terrorism.
posted by Ufez Jones at 7:58 AM on January 31, 2003

I have only one question.

Isn't the plural form hippopotami?
posted by yhbc at 8:03 AM on January 31, 2003

Isn't the plural form hippopotami?

posted by biscotti at 8:23 AM on January 31, 2003

either funny or absurdly pedantic

Hmm. Spot on.

* shuts up *
posted by yhbc at 8:26 AM on January 31, 2003

According to the late, near-great (and very funny) Allan Sherman, yhbc, you are correct. As his song One Hippopotami (left off the hippopatamus song list above, for some reason) says:
One hippopotami cannot get on a bus,
Because one hippopotami is two hippopotamus.

posted by LeLiLo at 8:47 AM on January 31, 2003

Remember, from lelilo's link, "popular" usage .. who knows what "popular" index the creator used? You must (and do, I hope) understand that culture is a very real and very varied phenomenon, even in the United States. Visualize the stereotypical South and the Brits and you will believe if you do not know already.

So in your mind, whatever you wish, popularize the form that is more appropriate - the accepted form does not depend on any one man and not really on any one institution - it comes from the people

You are of the people

Change the world, today! (vote blah blah) ;)

It is only an observation, after all, that the creator of the page makes, an observation based on his subjective experience or hearsay. He is not laying down rules, nor should he, and nor should you blindly follow were he to do so.
posted by firestorm at 1:18 PM on February 2, 2003

aw, what's the difference. hippies, hippos, they both smell like ass and like to play in the dirt.
posted by shadow45 at 2:16 PM on February 5, 2003

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