Moments that take our breath away..

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 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.




6 Responses to “Moments that take our breath away..”

  1. imroz Says:

    Story and pictures sent to me by James. How beautiful are those images?

  2. A Says:

    What a wonderful story and the pictures are unique. I rather like this blog thing

  3. Victoria Keelan Says:

    This is a truly wonderful example of animal acceptance of Love to the point where differences are not “seen”… we human’s have a lot to learn from this amasing life story.. Thank You for sharing this image and lesson of unconditional love.

  4. kate Says:

    truly amazing unconditional love is endless I feel the whole world needs more time to truly absorb the wonders found in all of us if we take the time to look .
    A fine lesson from a wise tortoise.

  5. Sheela Hammond Says:

    What a heartwarming story, fabulous pictures. The young of the human species in the tsunami have not been as lucky in may cases. The hippo did well – it could have been a croc!

  6. Phil Keelan Says:

    If only the world could learn from this story. How 2 species a world apart learn to live together despite differences, age and needs!

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