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Pupils welcome the return of ‘hippos’ saved from extinction

Sanctuary restores popular 1960s concrete artworks for Anderston residents. 

Three cloned ‘hippos’ saved from extinction have made a welcome return to Glasgow.

Housing provider Sanctuary has restored the concrete artworks to their Anderston home as part of its £60 million area regeneration.

The original 1960s hippos were hugely popular with local residents, many of whom remember them from their childhood. However, the dilapidated state of the much-loved trio meant they could not be refurbished.

Sanctuary had moulds of the original hippos created so exact replicas could be returned to the site. After more than half a century of the hippos having no formal names, local primary pupils have named the ‘dad’ Rocky, the ‘mum’ Kiboko and the ‘baby’ Alexanderston.

Pat Cahill, the Director of Sanctuary Scotland, said: 

“Many residents have great affection for the hippos, so it’s great to see them back and looking better than ever.

“We hope local children come to love them as much as their parents and grandparents. The excellent names chosen by the Anderston and St Patrick’s Primary pupils are a nice introduction for the younger residents yet to meet them.”

Glasgow’s Deputy Lord Provost Philip Braat, a ward councillor for Anderston, joined local pupils to mark the return of the hippos.

Mr Braat said: 

“Having represented the Anderston community for many years, I am well aware of people’s fondness for the hippos – and of the sadness felt when these popular local artworks were taken away to be refurbished.

“Like the children, I’m delighted the hippos have returned for future generations of residents to enjoy.”

Sanctuary’s regeneration of Anderston has created 540 affordable homes in partnership with Glasgow City Council. The final homes, all for social rent, will be handed over to tenants in the coming weeks.

Pictured: Phil Braat, Ciara Crines, Titus Nyarko, Sophia Zai, Pat Cahill.