Friday, February 11, 2005

Owen, the Hippo

I know I'm a cynical old crank, but I've always had a soft spot for stories about animals from different species meeting and becoming friends. I saw a bit of film footage once about a baby rhino who had become best friends with a goat, and even I had to admit it was pretty cool. So I'm poking around at (urban legend site) today, and I saw this listing:
Claim: Photograph shows a baby hippo and a tortoise who have become friends in captivity.

As it turns out, this story is true. The hippo is only a year old, still a baby, and the tortoise is over a hundred.

That brings up some really unpleasant memories of "Harold and Maude," but I'll let them pass.

So the tortoise has apparently become the little hippo's mother. It's quite a nice story, and there's an utterly charming picture of them together as well.

Here's the link:

The only cautionary note in the story comes at the end:
It is hoped that Owen [the baby hippo] will eventually mature into a romantic companion for a lonely female hippo named Cleo who is also housed at this wildlife park.

Cleo. Listen to me, dear. Dude lost his mom and was adopted by a hundred year old tortoise. Do you want to marry into that family? Get your freak on if you have to, but if he breaks out the Elizabeth Barrett Browning, leave skid marks in the driveway.

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