The Armley Hippo could inspire you to be a writer

ON SHOW: Neil Owen with the Armley Hippo. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
ON SHOW: Neil Owen with the Armley Hippo. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
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Creative youngsters in Leeds can travel 125,000 years into the past to bring the city’s prehistoric hippopotamus and its fossilised friends back to life.

A new competition at Leeds City Museum is giving children aged five and 12 the opportunity to write a short adventure story and draw a picture of the famous Armley Hippo.

The winning story and picture will then be turned into a cartoon shown to visitors at the museum during a special hippo-themed exhibition next Easter.

The museum’s famous hippo has been frozen in time for more than 125,000 years, with its bones on display in the museum’s Life on Earth Gallery. Workmen digging close to where the Armley Gyratory stands today discovered the huge mammal’s remains in 1851, along with bones belonging to other creatures.

It has since become one of the museum’s most famous exhibits.

Neil Owen, Leeds Museums and Galleries assistant curator of geology and natural sciences, said: “Where Leeds is today would have been a very unfamiliar place 125,000 years ago, where hippos and other prehistoric animals would have been a common sight.”

Entries can be handed in at the museum before January 6, 2017. The winning picture and story will be turned into a cartoon with hippo or mammoth toys for the winner and two runners up. Entries can be posted to: The Armley Hippo, Leeds City Museum, Millennium Square, Cookridge Street, Leeds City Council LS2 8BH.

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Greg Carter of Growth Street Photo: Lana Kropyvna

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