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The Hippo And The Tortoise

A baby hippopotamus that survived the tsumani 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 Mombasa, officials said today.

The hippopotamus, nicknamed Owen and weighing about 300 kilograms, was swept down Sabaki river into the Indian ocean, then forced back to shore when tsumani struck the Kenyan coast on December 26, before 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 away and lost its mother, the hippo was traumatized. It had to look for a surrogate mother. It landed with the tortoise and established a strong bond. They swim, eat and sleep together... The hippo follows the tortoise exactly the way it follows its mother. If somebody approaches the tortoise, it becomes aggressive," she said.

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