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Birthday boy: Hippo lookin’ good at 53

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By Matt Beck

Hundreds of hippo fanatics both young and old gathered Friday at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park to celebrate Lu’s 53rd birthday.

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The hippo, coming in at hefty 6,000 pounds or so, seemed to know what was coming before receiving his birthday cake.

The cake, specially created by Publix for the animal, is made from bread — not cake batter — and is topped with a special icing not loaded with sugar, according to park manager Art Yerian.

Pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first-grade classes from Rock Crusher Elementary School visited the park and helped sing “Happy Birthday” to Lu before he devoured his treat.