Friday, February 24, 2006

Odd Couples Cropping Up

The Grave Digger
It seems that these days, you can find friendship in the most unlikely places.

A baby hippo, "Owen", recently rescued after floods in Kenya has befriended a 100-year-old tortoise in Kenya. After Owen was found alone and dehydrated near the Indian Ocean, he was placed in an enclosure at a wildlife sanctuary and befriended a male tortoise of a similar color.

According to a park official, they sleep together, eat together and "have become inseparable".

"Since Owen arrived on the 27 December, the tortoise behaves like a mother to it," Haller Park tourism manager Pauline Kimoti told the BBC News website.

"The hippo follows the tortoise around and licks his face," she said.

The tortoise is named Mzee, which is Swahili for old man.
Link. The sanctuary plans eventually to get the help of the Kenya Wildlife Service to place Owen with Cleo, a lonely female hippo in a separate enclosure.

A hippo and a tortoise, you say? What could possibly be more unlikely? Perhaps... a hog and an antelope?

Shortly after his mate went to hog heaven, Willy the Red River porcine spied a new mud-pen pal in what officials are calling one of the oddest pairings at the Los Angeles Zoo.

Willy is a 10-year-old, 187-pound hog and his new mate is a 16-year-old bongo named Nicole, the largest member of the forest antelope family. The couple shares a muddy zoo exhibit where they nap and cuddle together—even nuzzling snout to nose.

"It's adorable. Wherever that bongo is, the hog is usually nearby," zoo spokesman Jason Jacobs said.

Link. Willy turned to Nicole for companionship shortly after his previous mate died of cancer.

Nicole wasn't interested in Willy at first, but the persistent pig eventually won her over. They now share breakfast, groom each other and take walks together. Nicole leads, and Willy trails closely behind.

"I think he definitely likes her more than she likes him," Holland said.

However, much like Kenya, the Los Angeles zoo officials intend to eventually separate the two, bringing in another bongo to the zoo for Nicole. Willy could be moved to another part of the zoo with other hogs.

With parents of twins, triplets, and quadruplets fighting the school systems to keep their children together, it seems there should be more effort to prevent the same separation anxiety in animals. I, for one, suggest we pull the animals out of public zoos and either put them in Catholic Zoo or we homezoo them. Apu and Manjula Nahasapeemapetilon, parents to octuplets, are a politically active couple, often speaking out against traditional zooish upbringings.


Blogger The GraveDigger said...

I just found this

2:40 PM  
Blogger The Good Reverend said...

That twins thing is awesome. They'll have a lot of fun pretending to be each other to get out of tests.

6:48 PM  

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