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17 unlikely animal friendships

By: Laura Moss on July 1, 2011, 9:37 a.m.
Hippo and tortoise

Photo: emdot/Flickr

15 of 19

Are you my mother?

In 2004 a tsunami swept a family of hippos in Africa out to sea, leaving a baby hippo stranded on a reef. A volunteer managed to rugby tackle the animal to rescue him and the baby was named Owen in his honor. Owen, however, was frightened and confused, so when he was released in an animal sanctuary, he ran to a 130-year-old tortoise named Mzee and cowered behind him. Mzee eventually came out of his shell and grew to love his new friend, and the two became inseparable. Until Mzee was old enough to be introduced to a friend of his own species, he and Owen spent their days together, feeding, cuddling and napping.