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Renown Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman (previously featured here) continues to make the world a more whimsical place with his extraordinary large-scale animal sculptures. His latest piece is this awesome floating hippopotamus, a follow-up to his famous giant Rubber Duck (that’s still on a floating world tour). Called the HippopoThames, the gargantuan wooden creature is in London for Totally Thames, a month-long celebration of the River Thames all along its 42 London miles, hosted by the Thames Festival Trust.

Hofman’s giant hippo is made of overlapping wood panels constructed on a river barge and measures 21 meter (~69 feet) long. He’s got huge painted eyes, large (yet adorable) pink ears and nostrils and seems perfectly content to float in the river.

‘The purpose of setting my sculptures in the public domain has always been to give members of the public a break from their daily routines, to inspire conversation and to cause astonishment.’ Hofman describes ‘I hope the location of my sculpture will inspire passers-by to engage with its surrounding area of Nine Elms on the South Bank, and to discover the various other events within the Totally Thames programme celebrating London’s river.’

The HippopoThames is currently floating on the South Bank of the river in the Nine Elms district, where he’ll be until September 28, 2014.

Click here for timelapse video of the construction of the HippopoThames.

[via designboom, The Telegraph and Totally Thames]

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Conservationists from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) have created the Thames Marine Mammal Code of Conduct in time for the peak summer season to improve awareness and protection of the river’s flippered residents.

The code provides practical tips on what to do if a seal or porpoise is spotted in the water or on land, helping members of the public, recreational boat users and commercial users of the Thames make the most of their wildlife encounters without disturbing any marine mammals.

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