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Unlikely Animal Buddies - Safari Ltd®

Unlikely Animal Buddies

Every now and then, something happens that seems like it’s right out of a cartoon. In a fictional setting, it wouldn’t be uncommon to see two completely different types of animals forming a friendship and going on all kinds of adventures. But in the real world? It seems far less likely that such a pairing could happen. But sometimes surprising things happen, and two animals that you’d never think would want to be around each other can form amazing bonds!  

The Hippo and the Tortoise

Take, for example, the curious case of Owen and Mzee. As a baby, Owen the hippopotamus was washed out to sea off the Kenyan coast during the tsunami of December 2004. Separated from his herd, Owen was found alone and dehydrated. After being taken to a wildlife sanctuary, Owen met Mzee, a giant tortoise. Despite the differences in their age (Owen was just a year old and Mzee was believed to be around 100), they became friends.



Though Mzee was skeptical of Owen at first, they bonded and formed a remarkable relationship. Owen would follow Mzee around like a child following its mother, and they would often relax and lay around together. Eventually, as hippos do, Owen grew quite large and was moved to a separate enclosure. But he’ll likely always remember his tortoise friend who kept him company when he was all alone.


The Hippo and the Rhino

This is far from the only case of such a strange and unique bond forming between to completely different species of animal. In fact, another baby hippo named Charlie found an amazing friend in Makhosi, a baby rhinoceros. Charlie was abandoned by his family, sadly, and Makhosi was born very small and thus unable to nurse from her mother.



After both were rescued, Makhosi became restless and nobody seemed to be able to calm her down. That is, until the rescuers let Charlie enter Makhosi’s enclosure. The two hit it off almost immediately. Makhosi settled down and the two snuggled up with each other peacefully. The two became inseparable and have helped support each other through many ups and downs since their fateful meeting.

The Rhino and the Goat

What is it about hippos and rhinos and their ability to make friends with seemingly every kind of animal out there? We don’t know, but it sure is cute. Joey the goat and J’aime the rhino were both living in the South African Rhino Orphanage. Joey had been abandoned by his mother, and J’aime had been injured in an attack by poachers that had unfortunately claimed his mother. The two kindred spirits found each other, and became fast friends, providing the love and support needed to get through troubled times.


Then there’s the case of Lammie the goat and Gertjie the rhino (aka “Little G”). These two friends, who reside in the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center in South Africa, can often be found playing and romping together. Little G hops and prances behind Lammie so much that it seems as though he believes he’s not a rhino at all, but a goat like his little buddy!

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