Lost Hungry Hippo Roams Southern Mexico

A man offers a branch to snack on to a hippopotamus locals have named Tyson on Friday in Las Chopas, Veracruz state, Mexico. Photo: Armando Serrano / Associated Press
A man offers a branch to snack on to a hippopotamus locals have named Tyson on Friday in Las Chopas, Veracruz state, Mexico. Photo: Armando Serrano / Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — Authorities say they’re worried about a hippopotamus that is roaming loose in a swampy area of southern Mexico.

Nobody knows where the animal came from, but hippos are not native to the country. The hippo appears to have been living in a pair of ponds near Las Chopas, in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz.

Mexico’s office for environmental protection said Thursday that experts are looking for the best way to trap and move the 3-year-old, 600-kilogram mammal. It also said hippos can be aggressive, posing a potential danger to the public and native species.

The hippo was first spotted by local media near a garbage dump in January. Residents of the town have come to love the animal so much they have nicknamed it “Tyson.”