Surfing Hippo

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I saw this picture and others like it in National Geographic Magazine in 2006.  Photographer Michael Nichols was on the Gabon Coast and shot hippos on the beach and in the ocean.  I was a beginner surfer and was immediately drawn to the pictures.  If a hippo could surf so could I!  It also reminded of the first Tarzan book by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes, when Burroughs tells us the story of young Lord Greystoke alone on the beach in Africa and adopted by the great apes.  Large wild animals no longer live on the world’s coastlines because humans have taken over most of it.  In addition to bays and river mouths and peninsulas which are great for building cities humans have sailed the coasts and stopped to forage, cut down trees, extract whatever they need.  It is no longer wild. Cold climates still have plenty of wild coast and polar bears still have access.  Few tropical or subtropical regions have any remaining uninhabited coastline.  The Loango Park in Gabon, West Africa,  is one of the few parks anywhere in the world with beach and lagoons.  Mike Fay called it ‘Africa’s Last Eden’ and ‘the Land of Surfing Hippos.’

So, I named my blog Surfing Hippo.

Loango National Park, Gabon

National Geographic Story on Michael Nichols and his picture

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