THE CRAZY, INGENIOUS PLAN TO BRING HIPPOPOTAMUS RANCHING TO AMERICA
(Back in the days before environmental impact statements)"Inthe early years of the last century, the U.S. Congress considered a bold and ingenious plan that would simultaneously solve two pressing problems – a national meat shortage and a growing ecological crisis. The plan was this: hippopotamus ranching.
Hippos imported from Africa and raised in the bayous of Louisiana, proponents argued, would provide a delicious new source of protein for a meat-hungry nation. In the process, the animals would gobble up the invasive water hyacinth that was killing fish and choking off waterways. It would be an epic win-win. A bill was introduced in Congress, and newspaper editorials extolled the culinary virtues of "lake cow bacon."
This week in The Atavist, writer (and WIRED's Mr. Know-It-All columnist) Jon Mooallem describes the hippo ranching scheme and the story of two fascinating men behind it: one a modest frontiersman and soldier of fortune, the other a self-aggrandizing con man. Both were spies. Each was sworn to kill the other. But the great cause of hippo ranching brought them together."
Click to read the story: https://www.wired.com/2013/12/hippopotamus-ranching/