Happy Hippo in New Home

Happy the HippoIt was a secret trip. On Sept. 29, 2009, one hip hippo took his own 16-wheel semi on a move from the nation’s capital city to Milwaukee. Happy, the National Zoo’s popular hippo, rode across country at night.  He didn’t want the paparazzi on his tail. (Paparazzi are celebrity-crazed photographers). When word of his move out of Washington, D.C., was announced, Happy got big coverage. Of course, you would expect big coverage for a big hippo. Happy weighs 5,500 pounds and is 11 feet long.  In the Zoological Society of Milwaukee’s January 2010 Alive magazine there was a story about Happy’s new home, the Dohmen Family Foundation Hippo Home at the Milwaukee County Zoo. Click here to read the article. The magazine also featured pages of kids’ hippo activities in the Kids Alive section. Here are some of those activities and their solutions. Plus, try these new Color Me Hippo Puzzles below.

Want to help hippos?

Sponsor Happy the Hippo during the Zoological Society’s 100th anniversary in 2010. Click here.

‘Color Me Hippo’ Puzzles

Color the hippos (ages 3-7):

Kids, click here to get a coloring sheet of two hippos.  Print out the sheet and use colored pencils, crayons, or markers to color the picture.

Create a puzzle (ages 5-7):

Looking for more of a challenge? Try a puzzle. Here’s what you do:

  1. Click here to print out the same hippo picture as above, but with lines drawn through the picture.
  2. Get a 10-inch-by-7-inch piece of thin cardboard (a cereal or cracker box would work).
  3. Use a glue stick to paste the back of hippo picture to the cardboard.
  4. When glue is dry, use markers or crayons to color the picture.
  5. Then have an adult help you use scissors to cut along the simple straight lines in the picture.
  6. When all the lines are cut through, your picture will be in puzzle pieces.
  7. Now see if you can put the pieces back together into a whole picture.

Create a puzzle (ages 8-11):

  1. Click here to print out the same hippo picture as above, but with puzzle-piece lines drawn through the picture.
  2. Get a 10-inch-by-7-inch piece of thin cardboard (a cereal or cracker box would work).
  3. Use a glue stick to paste the back of hippo picture to the cardboard.
  4. When glue is dry, use markers or crayons to color the picture.
  5. Then use scissors to cut carefully along the puzzle-piece lines in the picture.
  6. When all the lines are cut through, your picture will be in puzzle pieces.
  7. Now see if you can put the pieces back together into a whole picture.

Marshmallow HippoHot Cocoa and Hippos

You know what goes great with hot chocolate on a winter day?  Marshmallow hippo treats. Click here for a recipe for easy-to-make fun snacks that take less than a half-hour to create. The recipe calls for round candy pieces for the hippo eyes. One good place to find these candies is in Pillsbury’s Confetti Frosting. The can of ready-made frosting comes with a container of round confetti candy. The Milwaukee County Zoo also has candy machines that sell packages of tiny round candies. They’re in the Northwestern Mutual Family Farm, in the Dairy Barn. 

Hippo MazeHippo Maze

Even though hippos spend most of their time in water, hippos can’t swim. They move in the water by pushing off the river bottom with their tiptoes. Click here for a maze of a hippo trying to cross a river. Print out the picture. Then help the hippo by using a pencil to draw a path across the river to its food. When you’re done, click here for the solution to the maze.

Food or Junk Food

Hippos eat about 88 pounds of food daily, mainly at night.  In the wild they eat grass and sometimes shrubs. At the Milwaukee County Zoo they’re fed hay, high-fiber pellets, vegetables and fruit. In the Kids Alive section of the Zoological Society’s January 2010 Alive magazine, there was a hippo food activity. You had to figure out which objects around the hippo were food and which were junk food (not good for a hippo). You had to circle the objects that were Junk Food and write the list of good food in the area provided. Click here for the answers.

Text by Benjamin Wright.
PDF pages by Roberta Weldon of the Zoological Society’s Creative Department.
Happy the hippo photo copyright Richard Brodzeller/Zoological Society of Milwaukee.

Connect With Us On
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook