Hippo eating sprouts in the water. (ZSL Whipsnade Zoo/PA)
Hippo eating sprouts in the water. (ZSL Whipsnade Zoo/PA)

A pair of hungry hippopotamuses have had their first taste of Christmas with a five kilogramme serving of Brussels sprouts.

Sprouts may be one of the nation’s controversial Yuletide dishes, but one-and-a-half-tonne hippo Lola and her four-year-old calf Hodor enjoyed their festive treat.

Although they had never tried them before, keepers at Whipsnade Zoo were hopeful that sprouts could be a new favourite based on the hippos’ love of cabbages.

The two pachyderms devoured the pile of 260 sprouts in a matter of minutes.

Some of the veg took a tumble into the pool, but that did not stop the pair who were quick to rescue the strays.

Some people are worried that eating Brussels sprouts on Christmas Day might give them flatulence, but that’s just everyday life for a hippopotamus

Mark Holden

“Hodor and Lola seem to think Brussels sprouts are an unmatched delicacy,” said zookeeper Mark Holden.

“Some people are worried that eating Brussels sprouts on Christmas Day might give them flatulence, but that’s just everyday life for a hippopotamus.

“They defecate to mark their territory, so they certainly don’t mind a bit of ‘wind’ between family members.”

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