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. 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.

Responses to "100 Year-old Tortoise acts as Mom to Baby Hippo"

  1. Anonymous says:

    So precious! Great pics and story!

  2. Great Story, Thank you

  3. Anonymous says:

    I just luv this! The old soul, takes in the youngster. It doesn't get much better, than that! Thanx for sharing!

  4. Anonymous says:


  5. Gerry Manvell says:

    What a wonderful story and what wonderful pictures.Thank you from Gerry Manvell

  6. Anonymous says:

    tell me that animals don't know love, liar, animals love, we humans should have that love.......

  7. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful thank you.

  8. Iwannafly says:

    The baby hippo may help this turtle to live for another never know with mother nature what can happen. But no matter what..they shall never forget each other.. Bless them, I see this and with humans could show more acts of kinds amongst each other like animals do.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful story. We need to send this to world leaders and let them see how nature adapts to difficulties in life and dont seek conflict and strife in order to co-exist peacefully eventually.

  10. Anonymous says:

    What a unusual partnership.Nature is amazing.Hope they live a long and happy life together.

  11. Anonymous says:

    lovely story..but erm..swim??? together? a tortoise would sink like a stone!!!! only turtles swim!

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