This unlikely pair now have their own website and line of books
|Baby hippo with "mother" tortoise|
A sense of familiarity may be what sparked the friendship between Owen and Mzee,
the young hippo and old tortoise who bonded after Owen, the hippo, was orphaned by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and relocated to Haller Park, a wildlife sanctuary in Mombasa, Kenya. The pair’s similarity in size, shape and color may have contributed to their ability to connect, says wildlife biologist Bill Given, a research associate at the Denver Zoo, but the social nature of the hippo would also have been an important factor.
“Hippos live in social groups called ‘pods.’ It’s abnormal for a young hippo to be all on its own,” he says. “That animal has a natural instinct to try and bond with another animal, and if that’s what it’s placed with, then its only choice is to try and be friends with that tortoise.”
Awww - Aren't they cute
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