I forgot to include this great moment from my trip to the zoo the other day.
As we walked around the African loop on our way to see the ostrich and rhinos, we spied a man fully outfitted in scuba gear, just about to enter the brown, muddy, murky, duckweed-covered water below. As he put on his mask and regulator, I couldn’t help but wonder, “What can he see down there?” I have no idea what was down there that needed repair.
Anyway, once we got a nice close-up view of one of the rhinos, we started walking toward the giraffes and saw lots of bubbles coming up from the brown, muddy, murky, duckweed-covered water. I knew it was the diver, but a few other people didn’t. I heard them wondering out loud, “What’s down there? What animal is that? Is it a hippo? I think it’s a hippo! Look, it’s a hippo!”
I kept my chuckles to myself. I guess they haven’t seen many hippos. They wouldn’t have seen them here since the Jacksonville Zoo doesn’t have any. And hippos don’t breathe underwater. If they are in the water, they typically wade or lay around with their eyes, nostrils, and ears just above the surface. Otherwise, the ones I’ve seen like to lay at the edge of the water.
I have seen hippos at other zoos and in the wild. We saw them on safari in Kenya. Since they are one of the most dangerous animals in Africa, armed guides kept an eye on them as we took pictures. If the hippos decided to get aggressive, we’d be escorted out of there. When they began bellowing at us, it was time to leave.
I did not spoil their fun and tell them about the scuba diver.