; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

C'mon...There's No Hippo in the Chicago River. Right?

First and foremost...there is no real-life hippopotamus in the Chicago River. There is no real-life manatee in there either. There are a lot of things that occasionally end up in the Chicago River, for example...green food coloring, bodies in 55-gallon drums, Packers fans, etc. But not a hippo. People are suggesting that it may be a viral video campaign or a computer generated hoax. Whatever it is, we know what it isn't.

The hippopotamus is a large, mostly herbivorous mammal from sub-Saharan Africa...or your local zoo. The extreme cold weather in Chicago and lack of food make it impossible for a hippo to live on it's own in this urban river.

Here's the video --> A Hippo in the Chicago River or cut / paste https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioyAUE2UfXk

Why do we question the veracity of the video?

First, this section of the Chicago River is very well traveled by a wide variety of watercraft, including many sightseeing boats filled with tourists. As the very busy summer tourism season wraps up, there has not been one report of a ”hippo” in the river.

Speaking with Officer Jose Estrada of the Chicago Police Department, we were told, “There have been no reports of wild animals roaming the streets or the rivers of Chicago.”

Additionally, the video from September 15 is the only one posted by YouTube user “Chris O.” TheBlaze attempts to contact the person who posted the clip have not gotten a response.

Could a hippopotamus live in this river? TheBlaze called Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo to ask if this was possible. A zoo representative told us that it was highly unlikely that a hippo could survive in the Chicago River, “especially considering the harsh winters we experience.”

While we’re almost positive this is either a Jimmy Kimmel prank or a viral marketing attempt, the video is starting to get traction. And you deserve to know the full story. - The Blaze

Here's an earlier report:

According to a video that is going viral on YouTube, there is a hippopotamus swimming around in the Chicago River, causing boats to swerve out of its path to avoid hitting it. While the thought of a hippo in the river is highly entertaining, it is just not very likely.

First, hippos are big animals. They typically weigh in at 2,900-3,300 pounds. If there was a hippo in the river, it would not go unnoticed for very long. The Chicago police have had no calls or reports regarding hippos roaming the streets or floating around in the waterways, so this makes the story even more doubtful.

Then, there is the personality of a hippo to consider. They are notorious for being mean, aggressive animals. While this might fit in with drivers on the road, it is highly unlikely an animal of this temperament would go unnoticed for very long.

Finally, there is the question of how, exactly, would a hippo get into the Chicago River? At the size and weight of a hippo, its very unlikely someone dumped it from a pet taxi into the river. Its also very unlikely that it lurked unnoticed in the sewers until it reached full size and decided to go for a swim.

The more boring, and likely explanation is that it was a cardboard box or some other trash that got dumped or fell into the river. - Chicago Now

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