Stories of Kindness from Around the World

The Tortoise And The Hippopotamus: A True Story

--by Pancho, posted Mar 30, 2009

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.

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

This is a true 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. Look beyond the differences and find a way to walk the path together.'

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Readers Comments

Blessing olodu wrote: Its a very nice and touchy story
Emily wrote: Oh that is such a touching true story and it is so hard to believe yet so brilliant😄😄
Ella and Kylie wrote: No informantes han
isabel wrote: Cool
DINESH A N wrote: We are also animals to other species,but we take nature for granted & are misusing it for self-destruction.

Hope before-everybody's light fades away lets give back what we got from mother nature.

Jai gurudev
thaata wrote: Animals are far better than humans. Nature has abundant love for everyone. We humans think everything is for us and destory the very nature.
geneva wrote: Beautiful
Burts wrote: This is awesome and wonderful.
Suchitra wrote: So sweet. The photos are well taken. The lower creatures have shown higher levels of caring and bonding.
juliet wrote: A very touchy true life story. What human being should learn from this is that love knows no boundary and that if we bury our differences then racism will be totally eradicated.

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