Monday, April 21, 2008

Hug a Hippo

Apropos of nothing I have blogged about recently, I am writing about hippos today.

Recently, my daughter sent me a link of a hippo story that ran on Sky News. It was one of the most unusual animal stories I have ever seen. As a child, I did see hippos in the wild, but I didn't have the same fear of them that I did of lions. I should have. An
article that ran in the Smithsonian magazine two years ago noted the following: "But many Africans regard hippos as the continent’s most dangerous animal. Although accurate numbers are hard to come by, lore has it that hippos kill more people each year than lions, elephants, leopards, buffaloes and rhinos combined."

The video story tells another tale altogether. Herewith:

Who wouldn't love an animal such as Jessica. But in the house?

This story reminded me of another hippo story I saw not long after the December 2004 tsunami. In this case, the bond was not between hippo and human, but between hippo and a giant Aldabran tortoise. A baby hippo was washed out to sea off the coast of Kenya because of the tsunami. His entire hippo family was lost, so when human rescuers managed to get him back to shore, he was taken to a wildlife center. Now named Owen, the baby hippo encountered the tortoise Mzee--and you can read what happened next here.

I don't know about you, but after hearing/reading these two hippo stories, I have the strongest urge to hug a hippo!


Ginger said...

Absolutely amazing! I can't say I'd feel completely safe, but it's a sweet story. Wonder if her personality would change if she became "with child."

possumlady said...

Wow! Talk about hungry, hungry, hippo!! Getting a massage at the end of the day and curling up with her little pink blanky, no wonder she keeps coming back. Where can I sign up? Relationships between wild animals and humans like this always fascinate me.

JeanMac said...

I needed a nice, sweet story like that today. I loved it.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

It is always remarkable when people can bond with wild animals.
I watched a documentary of a man who lived in intimate contact with Grizzly bears in the wild.

I now can imagine my runt of a piglet coming into the the house when it is 800-1000 pounds.

I once saw a Hippo defecate at the zoo and it used its tail to spin it all over like a manure speader.
I then decided I wouldn't want to spend much time around them.

I know the story of Mzee. It was written up as a delightful book for children.

Ruth said...

I didn't know hippos could be so dangerous. What an interesting video. I shall send it on to a few members of my family.

Beverly said...

Interesting...I loved the story about the toroise and the hippo when that came out.

Animals are amazing, aren't they. They manage to work their way into our hearts and stay there.

mon@rch said...

Hippo's are interesting animals and wow that is an interesting video! Thanks for sharing this with us!

Mary said...


I'm surprised that hippos are dangerous to humans! I've always considered them to be slow moving and sort of sweet. Huggable.

I laughed out loud when Jessica bedded down for the night - blanket and all, and would let herself into the kitchen.

I need to send your post to my daughter who has fallen in love with hippos and a few dozen other odd animals of the wild :o)


dguzman said...

I read somewhere that a hippo can bite a human leg off in one chomp! Still, they are cute!