Monday, June 30, 2008

Owen and Mzee --- Nemo needs a hippo?

I don't recall having seen videos of the story of Owen, the orphaned baby hippo, and Mzee, a very old tortoise, that developed a most unusual bond after the 2004 tsunami. I followed the caretakers blog and purchased two children's books that came from this amazing friendship. For some reason I searched YouTube yesterday and found this video I wanted to share.

The update, as far as I know, is Owen was introduced to (and bonded with) a female hippo. Apparently Owen thought he was a tortoise and wasn't meeting his hippos needs for more water wallowing and foraging for hippo appropriate food. Not only was the hippo bond successful, and not only are Owen and Mzee still friends, Cleo (the female hippo) also bonded with Mzee! I think animals have a highly sophisticated form of communication that Cleo knew to be gentle with the tortoise.

Of course Brian has nixed the idea of a hippo coming into our household to bond with Nemo, but maybe Nemo will start visiting the Pleos one day since they can no longer go into his area without constant supervision.