First elephants - now hippos roam Norfolk

Richard BatsonHippos are roaming around Norfolk, ready to stampede home for the climax of a colourful charity event. Fifty models of the mighty beasts are being painted in exotic designs, in an echo of the popular elephant trail which took Norwich by storm.Richard Batson

Hippos are roaming around Norfolk, ready to stampede home for the climax of a colourful charity event.

Fifty models of the mighty beasts are being painted in exotic designs, in an echo of the popular elephant trail which took Norwich by storm.

Following in its giant footsteps is the North Walsham-based Hippo Hunt, which is set to raise funds for an international wildlife charity and local good causes.

Yesterday Norwich City players and manager Bryan Gunn added their names to a yellow and green hippo, created by children from the town's infant school, helped by students from nearby Paston College. They autographed a white-lined football pitch area on the back of a creature which is wearing black and gold football boots. It will be on display in the Canaries' shop in The Mall, Norwich, from the end of April.


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Another is spending a few days at the seaside, in the information centre at Cromer, before heading to the Forum in Norwich from May 11-15.

It has paintings of African animals by professional artist Pat Kennewell, promoting the Born Free Foundation which will get 25pc of the proceeds when the hippos are auctioned at the end of May.

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The foundation, chaired by Born Free film star Virginia McKenna, does worldwide work to prevent animal suffering and to protect species.

The hippos, costing between �65 and �400 depending on their size, have been bought by a range of businesses, schools and charities.

Some will keep them for publicity purposes, others will sell them at an auction on May 31.

The Hippo Hunt auction will be held at the Divine restaurant at North Walsham's St Nicholas Court precinct on Sunday, May 31, at 7pm.

For more information visit the website www.hippohunt.co.uk.

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