Je suis arrivé sur ce blog un peu par hasard et je ne comprends pas vraiment le pourquoi du titre. A ma connaissance, il n’existe pas d’ hippopotame à Madagascar mais je me trompe peut-être....
I somehow landed on this blog and I am not quite sure I understand the title of your blog. To my knowledge, there are no Hippos in Madagascar but I might be wrong...
Ben, you are correct. There are no hippos anymore in Madagascar but years ago, there were indeed hippos, dwarf hippos actually. And judging by the number of searches for "Malagasy Hippo", "dwarf hippo" and "Malagasy dwarf (?)" that ends up here, I think it is about time I explained the "home of the Malagasy dwarf hippo" thing (I assume they were not really looking for this blog)
It all started when I was searching for the list of current endangered species because of human activities. This comprehensive website extinctanimal.com gives a list of all endangered or extinct animals. In the extinct mammals section, you can find the "Madagascan pygmy hippopotamus; common name: Malagasy dwarf hippo." But wait, this is not a conservation blog, is it ?
Well, there are 3 reasons why I picked the Malagasy dwarf hippo as the saint patron of this blog: 1st) well, I am a sucker for lost causes, underdog stories, etc..a bit lame but what is more "lost cause" than an extinct species ? 2nd)He had to be Malagasy. (As the kids woud say: Duh!) 3rd) An tiny anecdote from my dad.
My dad used to work at the National Hospital of Niger in Niamey. During his stay in Niger, he had the chance to travel the Niger River on those tiny pirogue boat to watch the wildlife. While cruising along, the guide told him that they would have to be very quiet for a while because of th hippos. My dad (like me) always pictured hippos as those harmless huge mammals who would not hurt a fly. Quite the contrary, the guide said. "hippos have a temper and when they are unhappy, they go after boats , knock them over and drown people." My dad is not easily impressionable, 15 years working in the Emergency Room would probably do that to you. However, one morning in St-Martin (where he lives now), he looked a little tired so my sister asked him what was wrong. "Bad dreams" he said. We assumed it was because of the huge car crash that they had to deal with 2 days before. "Nope" he said, " I dreamt that a hippo was running after me the whole night; it would not stop and his mouth was wide open the whole time. I am totally exhausted." My sister was speechless first and then started laughing uncontrollably for 10 min non-stop, realizing that her dad was scared of hippos. It was one of the best laughs we had in years, seriously, how can one be afraid of this:
(I mean the hippo, I am a bit afraid of turtles myself)
So there you have it, this blog is the home of the "Malagasy Dwarf Hippo" because I want to "pay homage" to nature's lost treasures, my homeland and above all my dad and his unreasonable fear of hippos.
So Ben, there were dwarf hippos in Madagascar before but there aren't anymore. I will always be a bit sadden by the fact that I will never see my dad run away from a tiny little dwarf hippo.