Owen & Mzee

So my nephew introduced me to the a wonderful story about a turtle and a hippo becoming friends. When I picked this book up at the holidays, one evening at bed time, I was excited to see that the turtle and the hippo were from Kenya!

Their names are Owen and Mzee, Mzee meaning old in Swahili. Owen was an orphaned pygmy hippo that was orphaned and stranded after the tsumani in the Indian Ocean. Community members helped to rescue him and take him to Haller Park in Mombaba. They placed him with Mzee, a 130 year old turtle, and they became unlikely friends. They bounded strongly and Owen followed Mzee wherever he went.

Of course visiting the park was high on my list of recreational activities while in Kenya. The park was great, and I’ll share more photos tomorrow of the rest of the animals.

This isn’t the real Mzee, but he’ll do. He was actually trucking along faster than you’d think!

Here is the real Owen today, on the left. He is now living with Penelope, another orphaned hippo that they hope will mate.

It’s a tough life being a hippo!

You looking at me?




  1. Sustainable Family Finances on April 24, 2011 at 4:42 am

    I finally had a chance to show Kieran your post and pics of Owen and Mzee last night, and he was really impressed…especially by the pic of you with the Mzee look alike! He’s now hoping for pics from the elephant orphanage, although he most wants to see you soon…

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