Giant Hippo Harnessed and Hitched to Circus Cart, About to Give Trainer a Ride, 1924

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After considerable coaching at the hands of an animal trainer, “Lotus,” a circus hippopotamus enjoying winter quarters in California, was taught to haul a two-wheeled cart.

A V-shaped tongue attached to a broad band around the creature’s back made traces unnecessary. A bridle of strong leather with the reins attached to the jaws completed the harness, and aided in directing the “river horse” which seemed to enjoy its “stunt” as it walked to its pool and back.

Hippopotamuses are said usually to show little intelligence, but they are capable of great speed when in flight from an enemy, or while rushing to an attack after being wounded.

(via Modern Mechanix)

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