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Homosassa Springs Hippo celebrates 53rd birthday | News

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Homosassa Springs Hippo celebrates 53rd birthday
News, Urban Wildlife
Homosassa Springs Hippo celebrates 53rd birthday

Homosassa Springs, FL-- Lu, an African Hippopotomus who has called Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park home since 1964, celebrated his 53rd birthday this month. 

According to the Florida Department of Environment Protection, Lu was born at San Diego Zoo in January of 1960. He came to Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park as a movie and television star with the Ivan Tors Animal Actors troupe at four-years-old. 

His credits include 1960s movies Daktari and Cowboy in Africa, and television specials such as the Art Linkletter Show and a Herb Alpert Special. He also starred in a Union Carbide commercial.

Over the years, Lu grew from 90 pounds, to his current weight of over 6,000 pounds! 

To celebrate Lu, more than 250 students from Rock Crusher Elementary School sang the birthday song and gave him a bread cake with the words “Lucky Lu!” on the cake.

Park Volunteer Vicky Iozzia lead visitors in singing an original song she wrote for this special occasion. Every year she adds a new stanza for his latest birthday, says the Department of Environment Protection.

Then, a second party was held during the park’s daily alligator and hippopotamus educational program, where visitors signed a giant birthday card to wish Lu a happy birthday.

Lu's fans around the world can send him a birthday greeting on his Facebook page.

Happy birthday Lu!

News, Urban Wildlife