The Bos\’un Locker

During times of war and during times of peace, we must prepare for tomorrow with the realities of today.

The Hippo and the Tortoise — a true story

Posted by thebosun on October 2, 2007

Emailed to me from a friend.  Verified at Truth or Fiction.Com

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 away 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 followed 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.



This is a real story that shows that our differences don’t matter much when we need the comfort of another.

Save the Earth … it’s the only planet with chocolate.

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2 Responses to “The Hippo and the Tortoise — a true story”

  1. Aaaww. That’s so sweet! Poor baby. I wonder if he’ll ever figure it all out.

    Always a sucker for an animal tale. Thanks.

  2. thebosun said

    Thank you for the comments, Anna. I am not an animal psychologist, however, I hope it does not end. It is normal for baby hippos to for about four or five years.

    I wonder if the size difference will get in the way?

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