ANAHEIM, Calif. — The mechanical hippopotamuses at Disneyland will no longer have to stare down the barrel of a gun, thanks to a change in one of the park’s oldest rides.
Tour guides won’t fire guns at hippos anymore on the Jungle Cruise ride, which takes park guests on a river voyage. Park officials said they decided to make the change after receiving comments from patrons.
Under the new policy, the tour boats’ skippers won’t reach for their handgun when they see the hippos — although, curiously, the boats will still cruise past a gun-wielding gorilla.
"It’s sad to see the tradition go," said Mike DeForest, a former safari-hat-wearing skipper on the ride.
But others liked the change.
"I wouldn’t have taken the kids on the ride if it had guns," said Karla Jervis of Ohio, who rode the Jungle Cruise for the first time. "I don’t even buy toy guns."
Debbie Leahy, a spokeswoman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, also applauded the new policy.
"I don’t think somebody would find it funny," Leahy said. "It’s not humorous. It’s really a form of animal cruelty."
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