Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Hippopotamus and the Tortoise

Thanks to Casper Kelley for this poignant and heart warming story.


The Hippopotamus and the Tortoise ' Much of life can never be explained but only witnessed.' - Rachel Naomi Remen , MD


A baby hippopotamus that survived the tsunami waves on the Kenyan coast has formed a strongbond with a giant male century-old tortoise in an animalfacility in the port city of Mombassa , officials said. The hippopotamus, nicknamed Owen and weighing about300 kilograms (650 pounds), was swept down SabakiRiver into the Indian Ocean , then forced back to shorewhen tsunami waves struck the Kenyan coast onDecember 26, before wildlife rangers rescued him. 'It is incredible. A-less-than-a-year-old hippo has adopted amale tortoise, about a century old, and the tortoise seems tobe 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 something to be a surrogate mother.

Fortunately, it landed on the tortoise and established a strong bond.They swim, eat and sleep together,' the ecologist added.'The hippo follows the tortoise exactly the way it followed its mother.If somebody approaches the tortoise, the hippo becomes aggressive,as if protecting its biological mother,' Kahumbu added. 'The hippo is a young baby, he was left at a very tender age andby nature, hippos are social animals that like to stay with theirmothers for four years,' he explained.

'Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,but by the moments that take our breath away.' This is a real story that shows that our differences don't mattermuch when we need the comfort of another.We could all learn a lesson from these two creatures of God,'Look beyond the differences and find a way to walk the path together.'

Cat Rescued

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - The last time cat-owner Kelly Levy saw her tiger-striped feline was before she took her husband to the airport. The 24-year-old came back to her house late Friday to find the bottom step, where Gracie Mae would usually be waiting, empty.
Levy tore the house apart looking for the 10-month-old tabby who had been spayed just days before. She and her dad took out bathroom tiles and part of a cabinet to check a crawl space and papered the neighborhood with "lost cat" signs. Then she got a phone call.
"Hi, you're not going to believe this, but I am calling from Fort Worth, Texas, and I accidentally picked up your husband's luggage. And when I opened the luggage, a cat jumped out," Levy recalled the caller saying, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. Rob Carter, of Fort Worth, told The Dallas Morning News for its online edition Tuesday that he made it home with the suitcase.
"I went to unpack and saw some of the clothes and saw it wasn't my suitcase," Carter said. "I was going to close it, and a kitten jumped out and ran under the bed. I screamed like a little girl."Carter said that he eventually was able to get the cat to come out from under the bed. "In the morning, I got close enough to see its collar and the phone number on it," he said. "So I called the number and got a hold of the crying wife of the traveler."
Gracie Mae had crawled into Seth Levy's black suitcase undetected, been put through an X-ray machine, loaded onto an airplane, thrown onto a baggage claim conveyor belt and picked up by a stranger. Carter delivered Gracie Mae to Seth Levy and the tabby made the 1,300-mile trip home on an $80 plane ticket Sunday night.
Carter said that he considered keeping the cat before he knew she had a home. "If I couldn't have found a good home, I would have kept it," he said. "We were going to name it Suitcase."