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February 02, 2006

Incredible photos of a baby hippo that was stranded by the tsunami and the tortoise that adopted him

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NAIROBI (AFP) - A baby hippopotamus that survived the tsunami waves on the Kenyan coast has formed a strong bond with a giant male century-old tortoise, in an animal facility in the port city of Mombassa, officials said.

The hippopotamus, nicknamed Owen and weighing about 300 kilograms (650 pounds), was swept down Sabaki River into the Indian Ocean, then forced back to shore when tsunami waves struck the Kenyan coast on December 26, before wildlife rangers rescued him. "It is incredible. A-less-than-a-year-old hippo has adopted a male tortoise, about a century old, and the tortoise seems to be very happy with being a 'mother'," ecologist Paula Kahumbu, who is in charge of Lafarge Park, told AFP.

"After it was swept and lost its mother, the hippo was traumatized. It had to look for something to be a surrogate mother. Fortunately, it landed on the tortoise and established a strong bond. They swim, eat and sleep together," the ecologist added. "The hippo follows the tortoise exactly the way it follows its mother. If somebody approaches the tortoise, the hippo becomes aggressive, as if protecting its biological mother," Kahumbu added.

"The hippo is a young baby, he was left at a very tender age and by nature, hippos are social animals that like to stay with their mothers for four years," he explained.

(I think this is one of the cutest, sweetest and most endearing things I’ve come across in quite some time – Emily)

February 2, 2006 in animal pictures, cute pictures, funny pictures | Permalink | Email This Post

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Hey! They are amazing. how you got them, Really they are mind blowing.. Lots of emotions are including. Seems, like they love each other a lot. "o MAMA"

Posted by: Roshni | Aug 3, 2011 2:57:07 AM

Would like to know what happen with baby hippo whats he up to now need up date

Posted by: ellen | Dec 1, 2010 7:47:08 PM

This is a wonderful and touching story of Owen and Mzee,
I have both books of them that I bought for my grandaugher at the age of 6, and she thought it was wonderful that two diferent types of animals could care enough and get along well enough to care for each others well being.

Posted by: Lillian | Feb 17, 2009 2:47:00 PM

hi! its cute...both are adorable couple...hehe

Posted by: twiligh | Dec 18, 2008 5:03:10 PM

hi! its cute...both are adorable couple...hehe

Posted by: twiligh | Dec 18, 2008 5:01:54 PM

i luv goergeie lol

Posted by: me roxex | Sep 14, 2008 8:01:14 PM

soooooo cute!

Posted by: lolly popz | Jul 21, 2008 11:30:27 AM

You guys are all so cool.

Posted by: wow | Jun 16, 2008 1:55:12 AM

You guys are all so cool.

Posted by: wow | Jun 16, 2008 1:54:04 AM

That is so tuching! :)

Posted by: Bailey Close | Apr 3, 2008 10:34:01 PM

This is so cute I love tortises and hippos!!!But i've never herd of a tortise adopting a hippo but they look like they have fun together.

Posted by: Brianna | Sep 18, 2007 6:20:46 PM

Wow! I just though I was going to see some cute pictures. Well I guess I did. Thanks for sharing them. Peace & Love All

Posted by: rose | Sep 6, 2007 11:08:54 PM

its soooooooooo cute.........n it is really nice..........it gives us all a beautiful message.....

Posted by: juilee | Jul 13, 2007 12:40:19 PM

1st of all what did Nohbdy say cuz i want to know but it sounds bad and 2nd of all stop calling people morons if u dont even know them and 3rd of all i love the pictures they r sssoooo cute

Posted by: confused | Jul 9, 2007 1:35:51 PM

i havent...yet

Posted by: sammi | May 13, 2007 3:56:31 PM

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