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Old 06-16-2018, 04:56 PM
 
992 posts, read 717,559 times
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How would it have affected things today and made things different?

For those who don’t know this was a real proposal backed by former President Teddy Roosevelt. It was intended to help clear away invasive plant life as well as provide another source of meat which Roosevelt described as, “lake cow bacon.”

I’ve read that hippos kill crocodiles enough for it to be considered a problem. So, I’m thinking this kind of strength/aggressiveness could have been a problem in collecting that lake cow bacon.
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Old 06-16-2018, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Tucson AZ & Leipzig, Germany
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Hmm, I'm no wildlife expert...but wild animal TV shows tell us that hippos are one of the most dangerous and aggressive animals that a human can encounter on land or in the water in sub-Sahara Africa. I would imagine it would be worse if they were wallowing around the bayous along the gulf coast.

There are a lot more people, cities, roads and vehicles in the US gulf coast bayou region than there are in the hippo's natural terrain in Africa. If I were driving along a narrow bayou road, I would not want to encounter an 8000 lb hippo jogging at 18 mph towards me and my little car. A monster pickup would not stand a chance either, just more crushed metal to sort through.
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Old 06-18-2018, 02:55 PM
 
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Fast forward 100 years later, we have "bayou bacon" today.



Feral hogs (non-native to Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana) are now reaching sizes of over 250lbs on my forest land.


Sadly, the hunting community was much more organized back then. Just cannot find people with the "right stuff" to kill these animals and remove them.


In conclusion, yes I think the hippos would have affected our environment by:
1) Increasing the risk of harm to anyone wandering the rural forest lands of Louisiana. Hippos are aggressive and will use their weight to intimidate humans.
2) Increased bayou / creek bank damage by large hippos tearing at the soil to climb out.

3) Hippos are not easy to kill and require trained marksman to kill, let alone carcass removal, would make this a difficult hunt for most Louisiana sportsman.
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Old 06-18-2018, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Laurentia
3,392 posts, read 1,672,618 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recycled View Post
Hmm, I'm no wildlife expert...but wild animal TV shows tell us that hippos are one of the most dangerous and aggressive animals that a human can encounter on land or in the water in sub-Sahara Africa. I would imagine it would be worse if they were wallowing around the bayous along the gulf coast.

There are a lot more people, cities, roads and vehicles in the US gulf coast bayou region than there are in the hippo's natural terrain in Africa. If I were driving along a narrow bayou road, I would not want to encounter an 8000 lb hippo jogging at 18 mph towards me and my little car. A monster pickup would not stand a chance either, just more crushed metal to sort through.
I have several friends and former co-workers from various countries in Africa where hippos are present and almost all of them have told me that most people are more afraid of unexpectedly coming across a hippo than they are a lion. The lion will either run away or ignore you; the hippo has a tendency to be unpredictable and may charge/attack.

One man that I knew told me a horrifying story about being on a boat with a friend on a river fishing when a hippo surfaced about 25 feet away and somehow got offended by their presence. The hippo came after them, and despite being big and clumsy looking, they are quite fast on land and in water. The hippo chomped down on the boat and started to come after the guy's friend. He got out of it by climbing a tree.

Not something that I would want to mess with!
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