Last December, Allen Baddour shared a story about a mysterious concrete hippo statue that stood proudly in a tributary of Bolin Creek, before it disappeared. The story captivated the community, and even made the local news:

Newspaper clipping

It’s been gone for almost 30 years exactly. But now, we’ve learned, the 1000-pound concrete hippo is on the way back to North Carolina.

For the past few decades, the hippo has resided in Newport, Oregon with its owner-artist, Gerry Barrett, who reclaimed the hippo from the Mill Race Branch using a crane and a flatbed truck.

But last week, both Gerry and the hippo began their easterly trek back to our area. Here is a photo as it was loaded up and began its cross country journey.

Hippo loaded up on a trailer in Newport, Oregon
One hippo all alone…calls North Carolina on the phone

We anticipate the hippo will arrive in Chatham County on Thursday or Friday.

Gerry Barrett standing next to the famous hippo

Here is Gerry, before the hippo was loaded up in Oregon!

John Rees lives in Chapel Hill. His day job is an enterprise architect for a big IT company. He was, until very recently, a member of the Chapel Hill Planning Commission and former chair. He serves on...