The year was 1910. It was the same year Hallmark cards debuted and the Boy Scouts of America was organized.

KISS Country 93.7 logo
Get our free mobile app

American was suffering through somewhat of a meat shortage and the vast bayous and waterways of south Louisiana were being choked off by water hyacinths which was killing fish.

That's when Representative Robert Broussard of Louisiana hit Congress with a brilliant idea that would solve both problems with a single blow.

It's Said That Hippopotamuses Are Actually Good To Eat

If Congress approved, thousands of hippopotamuses would be brought into the swamps of Louisiana where they'd eat up the unwanted hyacinths and once the population was established, could be hunted for their meat. Some even nicknamed that hippo meat as "lake cow bacon."

Warren Little/Getty Images
Warren Little/Getty Images

In a story from, we learn that Representative Broussard introduced the so-called "America Hippo Bill" in 1910 and asked that Congress approve an expense of $250,000 to be used to go to Africa and bring hippopotamuses to the United States.

Broussard's logic was winning support initially. Even the New York Times and former President Roosevelt where both in favor of importing "the river horse" to Louisiana's swamps.

There Were Some Who Saw The Downside To This Idea

However, many were afraid of the dangerous hippos, which have been said to kill an average of 500 people in Africa in each year, far more than the much more feared lion.

It was also discussed that the hippo population might not fare well during the colder Louisiana winters along with the potential for other ecological issues the hippo might cause.

Jan Kruger/Getty Images
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

It was that line of thinking that prevailed as it is reported that the American Hippo Bill fell short of passage by one single vote.

Who knows what would have become of south Louisiana waterways if this thing had passed. We might have created as big an ecological failure as the introduction of feral hogs and Giant Salvinia, or it could have been the answer to feeding America's hungry, but we'll never know.

Wild Animals Illegal To Keep As Pets in Louisiana

While a person might consider it novel to keep lions, tigers or bears as a pet in Louisiana, they are among the list of wild animals forbidden to be kept by private citizens as pets. These are just some those animals Louisiana law completely forbids from ownership.

The 19 Hottest Temperatures Ever Recorded in Shreveport

While we routinely see summertime highs of just over 100 here in Shreveport, only a couple of times have we ever reached a high of 110. Check out the 19 highest temperatures ever recorded here in Shreveport.

Iconic Characters in the Public Domain

These characters were created so long ago that their original texts are now in the public domain and no longer protected by copyright.

LOOK: Most dangerous states to drive in

Stacker used the Federal Highway Administration's 2020 Highway Statistics report to rank states by the fatalities per billion miles traveled. 

More From KISS Country 93.7