‘Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship’ by Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff, and Dr. Paula Kahumba

 What a great story and what a beautiful book! When life gets tough, we make unusual alliances and find unexpected friendships.  And we don’t have to be the same in order to get along! A line from the book sums it up, “Our most important friends are sometimes those we least expected.”

Tragedy struck both human and animal life with the devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean on Dec. 26, 2004. An orphaned baby hippo was rescued  and sought solace in a friendship with an old tortoise in his new home in Kenya. They became inseparable. The photographs are amazing and this  true story is well told. “Mzee” means ‘elder’ in Swahili.

Owen & Mzee

Update: “As of March 2007, Mzee has been removed from the enclosure. A female hippopotamus named Cleo has been added to provide companionship for Owen. Owen seems to be adapting to his new companion and it is possible that Owen and Cleo will have offspring when he reaches maturity.” [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owen_and_Mzee]

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