By Alana Theron

Heroic 130-Year-Old Tortoise Saves a Baby Hippo After Tragic Tsunami

Every creature in the animal kingdom has a unique role and purpose.

It is through animal interactions that stories, like the one below, emerge and challenge our understanding of these wild creatures.

This is the real-life story of Owen, a baby hippo, and Mzee, a 130-year-old tortoise.

In December 2004, a catastrophic tsunami wreaked chaos across Southeast Asia.

The gigantic waves, triggered by an earthquake on the ocean floor, submerged the entire town, causing mass devastation across the country.

It wasn’t just the people who suffered from this tragic event, but also our friends in the animal kingdom.

Owen, a baby hippo, found himself violently torn away from his family and left to fend for himself in an unfamiliar and totally chaotic new world.

Own was transferred to Haller Park in Bamburi, Kenya.

The traumatized baby hippo, who we imagine was seeking solace and comfort, was drawn to another animal in the Park, an Aldabara giant tortoise.

His name was Mzee. Mzee initially seemed perplexed by the young hippo’s persistent attempts at becoming friends...

...but as the days turned into weeks, an unexpected bond blossomed between the two.

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