Is There Really a Hippo Swimming in the Chicago River? See the Video

We have our doubts about this one.

A video posted on YouTube three days ago claims to show a hippopotamus swimming in the Chicago River.

River Hippo 1
Image: YouTube

Why do we question the veracity of the video?

First, this section of the Chicago River is very well traveled by a wide variety of watercraft, including many sightseeing boats filled with tourists. As the very busy summer tourism season wraps up, there has not been one report of a “hippo” in the river.

Speaking with Officer Jose Estrada of the Chicago Police Department, we were told, “There have been no reports of wild animals roaming the streets or the rivers of Chicago.”

Additionally, the video from September 15 is the only one posted by YouTube user “Chris O.” TheBlaze attempts to contact the person who posted the clip have not gotten a response.

Could a hippopotamus live in this river? TheBlaze called Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo to ask if this was possible. A zoo representative told us that it was highly unlikely that a hippo could survive in the Chicago River, “especially considering the harsh winters we experience.”

While we’re almost positive this is either a Jimmy Kimmel prank or a viral marketing attempt, the video is starting to get traction. And you deserve to know the full story. Watch the video:

Do you see a hippo?  We invite you to share your opinion in the comments section below and take our hippo poll.


Follow Mike Opelka (@Stuntbrain) on Twitter.