Celebrating Women for the Real World

This Is An Awsome Story

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 would follow 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.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

This is a real story that shows that our differences don’t matter much when we need the comfort of another. We could all learn a lesson from these two creatures of nature; Look beyond the differences and find a way to walk the path together.


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  1. * Suz says:

    I got this in an email a few weeks ago.

    It is such an awsome story. Love looking at the pic.

    Hugs Suz

    | Reply Posted 12 years, 3 months ago
  2. * Christie says:

    I know, I saw that on CNN lst week- so cute!

    | Reply Posted 12 years, 3 months ago
  3. * Holly says:

    that is unbelievably adorable.

    | Reply Posted 12 years, 3 months ago
  4. * Spikey1 says:

    Indeed awesome!

    | Reply Posted 12 years, 3 months ago
  5. * Jana says:

    Those pictures are adorable! I’ll have to show the boys.

    | Reply Posted 12 years, 3 months ago
  6. * Karen says:

    Awww… that is so sweet.

    | Reply Posted 12 years, 3 months ago
  7. * Cat says:

    That is just too awesome for words.

    | Reply Posted 12 years, 3 months ago
  8. * CrazyRideLady says:

    I’m such a push-over. That story made me choke up!

    | Reply Posted 12 years, 3 months ago
  9. * Carrie says:

    That is a great story, but authorities were alerted that the hippo was floundering in the seas before Christmas and before the Tsunami. A year later the pair is still together and there are plans to introduce the young hippo, Owen, to a 13 year-old female hippo named Cleo. 🙂

    | Reply Posted 12 years, 3 months ago
  10. * Katy says:

    I think that is so cute. I actually even showed it to Clint.

    | Reply Posted 12 years, 3 months ago
  11. * The Kept Woman says:

    I want a hippo for a pet. He’s cute.

    And yeah, yeah…heartwarming story too! 🙂

    | Reply Posted 12 years, 3 months ago

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