Tsunami-orphaned hippo adopted by 100-year old tortoise

/ 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.




Tsunami-orphaned hippo adopted by 100-year old tortoise


Tsunami-orphaned hippo adopted by 100-year old tortoise

AFP

August 19, 2005







Hippo mothered by male tortoise. Copyright AFP 2005



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, and 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.







Hippo mothered by male tortoise. Copyright AFP 2005.



AFP:

Claiming to be the world s oldest established news agency, this worldwide
multilingual and multimedia business was founded in 1835 by the father of global
journalism Charles-Louis Havas. With more than 2000 staff
(900 working outside France) AFP daily produces 600,000 words,
700 photos and 50 news graphics.




ARTICLE CONTENT COPYRIGHT the Agence France-Presse. THIS CONTENT IS INTENDED SOLELY FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES.

mongabay.com users agree to the following as a condition for use of this material:

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available in an effort to advance understanding of environmental issues. This constitutes ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

If you are the copyright owner and would like this content removed from mongabay.com, please contact me.



Related Articles

Recent comments No Comments

Facebook Comments

Sign In

Connect with
Or

Reset Your Password