A woman was driving along County Highway D when she struck a hippopotamus that was crossing the road on Thursday evening.
It was around 5:30 p.m. when the dispatcher got a call about a totaled car with a broken windshield and front end damage. Jessica Milbrath, age 35, was alone in her car driving at about 20 miles an hour and became mildly injured from the incident.
A representative of the Ringling Brothers/Barnum and Bailey Circus, Bob Miller, knew about the hippo and said his name was Bobo and that he was very reckless. Bobo’s not usually mean, but he’s scared right now. He could snap you like a twig”, said Miller. At about 6:45 p.m., a woman and two men arrived at the scene of the hippo. One of the men had a gun, and according to him, it was a tranquilizer gun. He proceeded to shoot the hippo until it drifted off to sleep and started to snore. Aumann’s Towing Service took Bobo away from the scene later that night and drove to the Madison Veterinary Hospital.
Miller had said Bobo escaped from the circus train when it was heading north on the Union Pacific tracks. Two sheriff’s deputies arrested him for his “henius, egregious, and inexcusable negligence”. The sheriffs and attorneys thought it was irresponsible and careless to leave a wild and fierce animal like that out on the loose. Mr. Miller had criminal charges filed against him.
The hippo was taken out of the circus due to animal cruelty. The Sheriff’s Department sent a press release of Mr. Miller’s charges in the Jefferson County Circuit Court with first-degree recklessly endangering safety. Miller is now a legal felon with a bond set at $1 million. He then went to the Jefferson County Jail.