My Account

 
Friday, September 19, 2014

Community Partners Blog

January 24, Wildlife Park To Throw Party For Lu, The Hippo’s 54th Birthday

~State park and local children will celebrate popular hippo’s Birthday~homosassa-wildlife-park-logo

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park will celebrate Lu, the hippopotamus’ 54th birthday with two special birthday parties on Friday, January 24, 2014.

Lu has been a long-time resident of Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park and has fans around the world. People come from all over to help him celebrate his birthday. There is an international club for people who love hippos called the Hippo-Lot-of-Us Club. They have a website and members travel to visit hippos. Every year members of Hippo-Lot-of-Us Club attend Lu’s birthday.

Students from Homosassa Elementary School will join park staff in wishing Lu a Happy 54th Birthday. The students will be encouraged to join in singing a special birthday song written and performed by park volunteer Vicky Iozzia. (Every year Vicky adds another stanza for his latest birthday). The children and other park visitors will enjoy sampling the hundreds of cupcakes provided by Just a Cupcake of Crystal River along with fruit punch.

Lu will enjoy a specially made birthday cake (purchased by Friends from Publix). In the afternoon, another party will take place during the park’s alligator and hippopotamus program. Lu will be offered another birthday cake as park visitors have the opportunity to join in the celebration of the birthday of Florida’s only resident hippopotamus. There will be a giant birthday card for visitors to sign to wish Lu a Happy Birthday. Lu has his own “Lu the Hippo” Facebook page.

Lu, an African Hippopotamus, was born at the San Diego Zoo on January 26, 1960. (Note: The park will celebrate Lu’s birthday on January 24th so the schoolchildren can participate.) He weighed 90 pounds at birth and now weighs more than 6,000 pounds. A vegetarian, Lu consumes 15 pounds of alfalfa hay, four scoops of herbivore diet and a five gallon bucket of vegetables and fruit every day.

A fixture at Homosassa Springs since 1964, Lu was a movie and television star with the Ivan Tors Animal Actors troupe, which wintered at the park while in private ownership. His credits include the 1960s movies Daktari and Cowboy in Africa, and television specials such as Art Linkletter Show and Herb Alpert Special.

For more than four decades, Lu has been a mainstay among the animals at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. When the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service purchased the attraction in 1989, the state planned to shift the emphasis of the park to native Florida wildlife and find homes for all of the exotic species, including Lu. Public support, however, led the state to grant Lu special Florida citizenship in 1991, allowing him to stay at the park.

Friday, January 24, 2014
10:00 am and at 12:30 pm
Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
4150 S. Suncoast Blvd.
Homosassa Springs, Florida

Share this post

Most Recent

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
Prev Next

Meet the Artist: Chris Randle

09-15-2014 More Events

Stop by to meet Chris Randle, Jewelry & Mixed Media Artist. Chris, our artist of the month, will be creating her craft and offering you... Read more

Meet The Authors: Kathy Bryn and Trish R…

08-29-2014 More Events

Join Kathy Bryn and Trish Reeb, award winning authors of JoHazel Publishing's The Extraordinary Woman Next Door writing contest. See original floral paintings. This inspirational... Read more

Everyday English

08-25-2014 More Events

Adult Learners can come and practice their English communication skills through tutor-guided conversation, pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary. Read more

Meet the Author: Paula J. Bateman

08-25-2014 More Events

A Walk Back Through Time is one woman's story of the nine years she spent caring for her mother who had been inflicted with Alzheimer's,... Read more

Groovy Pet Rocks

08-24-2014 More Events

Go back in time to the 1970's and make a "Pet Rock." Enjoy snacks and play Wii and board games with friends. Read more

CareerSource Connection Mobile Resources

08-22-2014 Community Partners Blog

Staff Assisted Services Our newest Mobile Resource Unit, MOBY1, will bring our job search resources right to your door. Fully equipped and staff supported. No charge for services! Read more

Search This Site

From Our Community Partners

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Prev Next

CareerSource Connection Mobile Resources

From our Community Partners Blog

CareerSource Connection Mobile Resources

Staff Assisted Services Our newest Mobile Resource Unit, MOBY1, will bring our job search resources right to your door. Fully equipped and staff supported. No charge for services! Read more

September 6: Speak Up Homosassa Springs

From our Community Partners Blog

September 6: Speak Up Homosassa Springs

Presented byWater is the lifeblood of Florida’s economy and essential to our health and quality of life. We must stand up and speak out for... Read more

FREE Cat Adoptions! LIMITED TIME!

From our Community Partners Blog

FREE Cat Adoptions! LIMITED TIME!

Now until Friday, 08/15/14, for all spayed / neutered cats! Search for cats by visiting the Citrus County Animal Services web site http://www.citruscritters.com/   Donations are always needed.... Read more

College of Central Florida Information D…

From our Community Partners Blog

College of Central Florida Information Desk

A representative of the College of Central Florida will be on hand to assist anyone who has questions about going to college including financial aid... Read more

August Is Florida Panther Month At The W…

From our Community Partners Blog

August Is Florida Panther Month At The Wildlife Park

Florida Panther Kitten Yuma will move into Park’s Panther Habitat on August 21Guest article by Susan Strawbridge, Park Services Specialist Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State... Read more

Our Mission


The mission of the Citrus County Library System is to promote the pursuit of knowledge and deliver quality information and educational opportunities to the community.