Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Ikny, Sep 6, 2019.
tired: Penguins of Madagascar
wired: Hippos of Mississippi
Kudzu; what a freaking disaster...
There's a novella about this from Sea Lion Press called Bearfish (I think?), among other things the hippos spread all through the south, the Seminoles maintain a stranglehold on most of Florida and hippos become a racist metaphor for black people and a communist metaphor for the proletariat. I really liked it.
As for the question at hand, would pygmy hippos be a better import? Yes there's less meat on the bones but they still eat hyacinths (I assume) and would be relatively easier to manage. Maybe a domestication program could eventually result in river pigs.
And there'd be an immediate breeding program to increase the size of the animals, for a better yield...
Make em fat and dumb just like turning aurochs into cows. I don't know how the pygmy hippo compares to OG hippos in terms of maturation rate, brood size, etc. though, I think it takes something like 35 generations on average for domestication.
So even assuming the "standard" hippo maturity and reproduction rates, we'd still be in the middle of hippo domestication right this minute.
The convergence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers blocked stop
Massed bloats of hippo's now control of what's left of Cairo stop
Louisville threatened stop
Army digs in stop
Hippo's eating telegr
How would the native wildlife react? One of the great challenges of introduced species is that the natives haven't evolved to handle the invaders tricks.
There are few native species capable of taking on a hippo, so they get displaced or destroyed quickly.
Hard to believe people were actually PAID during the Great Depression to plant kudzu...
IMO you need a very early POD for this to occur. Something that will let them get a firm foothold in the US, with a sustainable breeding population. I don't know if this really possible though, as even flintlocks can kill them.
I'm pretty sure that once the public realizes what a danger hippos are, the breeding population, sustainable or not, is going to be rapidly decreasing in size. We're talking "Unlimited hunting licenses" here, or if later in the timeline, Wild Life services getting 50 cal machine guns mounted on the front of their boats.
A bit of a "2nd Amendment Paradise" in the making...
Their life cycles are long and slow enough that if imported, they would become a hazard problem and probably be hunted away by the fifties.
If you think about it it's sort of a bit of Keynesian genius. You pay people to introduce a incredibly destructive species and then have entire industries built around fighting that same invasive species.
Personally I've been thinking of taking the same concept and taking it up a few notches. Basically genetically engineer something along the lines of a Velociraptor with human level intelligence and a keen thirst for human flesh and with rabbit level reproductive capacity. Think of the positive economic benefits. Think of all the people who'd get jobs working the arms factories, or fortifying our cities to deal with the massive raptor hordes, or all of the creative types who'd gain employment coming up new and innovative hallmark sympathy card's like "I'm so sorry you're children were eaten in front of you. I'd come over to give you a hug but we haven't been able to leave the house in three weeks. Please send shotgun shells."
The world needs dreamers...
What? Do you have something against Keynesian economics?
Don't be silly...I love your work!
Apparently Pablo Escobar had a few on his wildlife farm. They have escaped and there are now 30 to 50 of them happily wandering about Colombian rivers.
Doubt that the Cowboy sports of Hippo riding and Hippo bulldogging would ever catch on after the first adherents are turned into mush
Yep. One of the factors against them becoming too big of a problem is their slow birthrate and maturation rate. They breed quick enough for enough of them to be noticed as a problem but not fast enough to outbreed American's fervent love of shooting things.
In Colombia the government wants to get rid of them, but the locals have taken a liking to their being around. I suppose there haven't been issues with them yet.
4 Hippos in the 80s is now 40 hippos.
If the hippo experiment starts with 40 hippos in Louisiana in 1910, and you account for Americans who enjoy shooting things, I imagine there'd be a few thousand hippos running around the swamps today.
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