The Turtle and The Hippo

Have you ever been touched by a story that you love so much, you have to write it down and keep it in a safe place so you don't forget it?  For me, The Turtle and The Hippo is that story. I saw this on The Today Show in 2005 and have been in love with it ever since. I was just thinking about it today. I had to do some digging, but I found it! (No, it didn't occur to me to look it up online until a minute ago when I was wishing I could post these tender pictures here on my blog... Long day anyone?)

This story is an amazing example of the most unconventional, tenderhearted relationship I have ever seen. I know it's old news, but I never get tired of seeing these pictures. I hope you find them as sweet and  heartwarming as I do.

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.

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 he was swept and lost his mother, the hippo was traumatized. He had to look for someone to be a surrogate mother. Fortunately, he landed on the tortoise and established a very strong bond. They swim, eat and sleep together,” the ecologist added. “The hippo follows the tortoise exactly the way he follows his mother. If somebody approaches the tortoise, the hippo becomes aggressive, as if protecting its biological mother.”

“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.”


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