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This photo, titled "Zookeeper Ernie Bowman and Hippopotamus, Joan, London, 1934" comes to us via The Guardian.

i-76f6407170e7e4b7b1a40f2c75856b08-hippo zookeeper.jpg

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The photo is © 2011 Curatorial Assistance, Inc/E.O. Hoppé Estate Collection

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I've heard of dogs attacking mailmen, but this is not what I was expecting when I signed up to deliver milk.

"Well, me and Joan been together...oh, 'most forty years now. Eats a lot, but she's been good to me, sure enough! Hey, don't make fun of the uniform... [whispers] Joan kinda' likes a man-in-uniform, servin' her dinners, knowwhatImean? [wink]"

"It's a little known fact that hippos can be trained using fish and chips as a reward."

"Mommy, he's trying to breathe on my lunch."

"Alas, this is as close as I'll ever get to having a pet dinosaur."

"Remember not to bite the hand that feeds you, please."

"No more blind dates for me..."

"That nutritional supplement works great, but it does have a few side effects."

"Serves me right for not getting a graduate degree..."

"I could have sworn I left my pet budgie right here."

Zookeeper Ernie Bowman explains that zookeeper training begins with animal replicas before moving on to real animals.

By https://www.go… (not verified) on 15 Feb 2011 #permalink

"Joe, the blind animal-keeper, soon learned the hard way that Hippos are not above grabbing the occasional meat for their diet."

To the cheers of all Britons, Mr Ernie 'Herbal Life' Bowman of the London Zoo has discovered that by feeding 'joan' herbal extracts and tea leaves she has shed an amazing 37 stone and will soon once again be accepting male 'guests'. Ernie is quoted as saying this is proof that his vitamin pills are a tonic for the ages.


"If you ever find yourself being snuck up upon by a hippopotamus, just bop it on the snout and it will leave you alone."

"I know you're supposed to say 'hippopotamus' to stop a sneeze, but how do you stop a hippopotamus's sneeze?"

By ABradford (not verified) on 15 Feb 2011 #permalink along...he thinks he's the Easter Bunny...

By redundant (not verified) on 15 Feb 2011 #permalink

"Morning, Sam!"

"Oh... mornin', Ralph. Have a good day."

By friendthegirl (not verified) on 15 Feb 2011 #permalink

"Got yer nose!"

"And this is my pet human, Ernie. I've trained him to scratch me whenever I have an itch I can't quite reach and to bring me baskets of food. My next project is to train him to use a bigger basket..."

'The hand that pets the HippoP is the hand you'll miss the most.'

(I could be past the deadline, but worth a shot anyway!)

By Betelgeuse (not verified) on 17 Feb 2011 #permalink

Though it retains its rich history and meaning, the solemn vow of the Hippocratic Oath no longer requires an actual hippo.

Hippo jaw drops in dismay when she was vigorously rebuffed from sharing a cheese sandwich with her love.