The 1970s saw the arrival of three groups of hippos to Glenrothes as part of the town’s ongoing programme of public art.
The first group, ‘Feeding Hippos’ was installed in Caskieberran in 1973 by Stanley Bonnar, an art sudent at the time, who went on to become Town Artist in East Kilbride.
He enlisted a group of post-graduate students to help him create the concrete animals, and his original mould was used by Town Artist David Harding to create two more groups that have become much-loved features of the town over the years.
The largest is the ‘Thirsty Hippos’, a group of six that inhabit the town’s Riverside Park.
They’re situated in such a way that they’re seen heading from the River Leven towards the paddling pool.
The third sculpture, ‘Death of the Hippo’, depicts a solitary hippo in a wall in Woodside.
The installations are among around 140 pieces of town art to be found in Glenrothes and have been replicated in other new towns across the UK.
A similar hippo sculpture on a housing estate in Tyneside was also created by Stanley Bonnar.