A real-life Hippogriff from Harry Potter exists in Uganda

Well, sort of – take a bow, Sushi the shoebill!

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If visiting the Harry Potter studio tour or having the potential for moving photographs isn’t enough real-life Hogwarts for you, then we suggest you head over to Uganda – because one zoo in the country has an actual hippogriff.

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Ok, it’s not really a magical creatures that’s half-bird, half-horse – this particular animal is all bird, specifically an endangered shoebill stork – but Sushi is still more hippogriff than most, thanks to his unusual emphasis on etiquette that mirrors the behaviour of the fictional species in the Harry Potter series.

Yes, that’s right – just like Buckbeak, Sushi cannot be approached without being bowed to, after which point he’ll allow visitors to come within touching distance. And his name apparently comes from his odd habit as well, with “Sushi” chosen as his behaviour reminded workers at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre in Entebbe of formal Japanese culture (via Metro).

Still, there’s one way that Sushi is mercifully unlike Buckbeak. If you don’t show Sushi the proper respect he just flies away – whereas a Hippogriff would have a rather more extreme reaction.

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Hmm…maybe real-life Harry Potter wouldn’t be as much harmless fun after all…