This past August, the College Park community was shocked to discover that a dead hippopotamus had been uncovered underneath the floorboards at R.J. Bentley’s Filling Station. Originally a mystery, The Thirsty Turtle Times has uncovered the true story through a variety of sources, public and private.
In June of 1928, what is currently known as R.J. Bentley’s Filling Station was just a five-year-old gas station named College Park Auto Place.
Current Bentley’s owner John Brown reveals to us that then-owner Jonas Giller was furious with a zoology expedition at the University of Maryland. Out of an abundance of caution, local authorities had forbidden automobiles from entering town, robbing Giller of any business for the day.
As the expedition wound down, the hippopotamus keeper stopped at College Park Auto Place for gas. Giller then allegedly ordered his hourly staffer to open the hippo pen, intending to cause a diversion.