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Turtle mothering baby hippo.

June 29th, 2005, 12:42 AM
Just found this it's amazing how that mothering instinct is:

Tsunami Survivor (more pics at the link)

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 t heir mothers for four years," he explained.

Crazy Hippie
June 29th, 2005, 09:32 AM
Awww that is the cutest thing I have ever seen!! Makes my heart melt! :love:

June 29th, 2005, 09:35 AM
that is so cute and touching. even more touching that the baby is protecting its elder.

June 29th, 2005, 10:25 AM
Great story,animals are amazing creatures... :love:

June 29th, 2005, 11:23 AM
That is so funny. What an Odd Couple.

I looked at the first glance and thought, 'photoshoped'. . . . hahahah

June 29th, 2005, 12:02 PM
That almost made me cry seeing that picture. It's soooo sweet! That hippo is adorable!

June 29th, 2005, 12:04 PM
thats awesome


June 29th, 2005, 02:27 PM
That is so sweet! :D A good lesson for us humans how we need to look out for each other! :love:

June 29th, 2005, 03:15 PM
Naturally I love all animals. Ever since I saw a PBS special on crocodiles where these hippos circled a dead anteloupe...sniffing and licking it then laying for over two hours mourning it's death. I was really touced, this was the first time it has ever been filmed...even the cameraman was brought to tears.

June 29th, 2005, 06:01 PM
I have read about lots of different animals that tend to one another (much more compassion than humans show). Like elephants that will bury dead animals or stand guard over a sick animal or even over a human.

That picture is so cute - I wonder what the turtle will think once the hippo grows up? :eek: