The sea was angry that day, my friends



Tortu_4I have received one billion trillion emails on the following topic, so it’s finally time to post it. Yes, you’ve all read it, bit GUESS WHAT? you’re going to READ IT AGAIN.

I submit to you, thanks to a million billion Cute O readers, the True Story of a Remarkable Friendship. The story of Owen and Mzee, a baby hippo and turtle who befriended each other in Kenya. It’s an uplifting story [music starting] of a tsunami that hit back in 2004, [wildlife sounds] where these two homeless ani-pals were moved to Hallard Park, an animal sanctuary in Kenya. [Macaws cawwing]
"Owen", aka "The Baby Hipster" was one of the animals who moved in. It was here he met "Mzee", a 130 year-old tortoise. [Three’s Company Music] The two have been inseparable ever since! The hijiinx!

And now, there’s even a book about it.

Hip hip….



Thanks, Melanie T. and the bajillions of others who sent the story in.



  1. i saw this on the news a while back and thought it was SO cute!!! i love how they snuggle with each other and are protective of one another. <3

  2. michelle says:

    When I first heard about this story, I thought it was the cutest thing ever. I still think that.

  3. It really IS all about the love… even the animals can figure it out. Thats sweet.

  4. Oh the cuteness… my eyes, it burns…..

  5. pistache268 says:

    Apparently, Owen chose the tortoise to be sort of mother for it because its shell is a similar shape and colour to what his mother’s was. (Mum died I think.)

  6. Here’s a noodler… which do you suppose will outlive the other, the young hippo or the old tortoise?

  7. GOOD question, Theo.

    Here is a link to a blog maintained by Owen & Mzee’s keeper:

  8.,%20some%20animals%20that%20were%20now%20homeless%20were%20moved%20to%20Hallard%20Park%20in%20Kenya%20(an%20animal%20sanctuary).%20Owen%20(130%20year%20old%20hippo)%20was%20one%20of%20the%20animals%20moved%20and%20within%20three%20minutes%20of%20being%20in%20his%20new%20home,%20he%20met%20Mzee,%20the%20tortise.%20Ever%20since%20the%20two%20have%20been%20inseperable. is a broken link. 😦

  9. Thank you, Ant!



  10. E. Collison says:

    Love the blog link – BTW, there’s some great free stuff available there. (Screensavers, coloring pages for kids, downloadable short book, etc.)


  12. This should be a rule of cuteness. There’s something cute about friendship/adoption between different species.

  13. I had not heard this story before! How veyr sweet! They are so cute snuggling! <3

  14. no matter how many times I read about these two friends, they still bring tears of cuteness to my eyes.

  15. Come on, is the turtle really 130 years old? Is that even possible?

  16. Wendy — giant tortoises are some of the longest-lived animals that exist. So sure, 130 is conceivable. It’s easy to find out if you’re the caretaker; you count the rings on the shell scales, kinda like they do with tree rings.

    Here’s some more heartwarming interspecies bonding (Mon Schmoop reminded me of this one & sent the link)…

  17. chibimoon says:

    oh my god…the tiger & piglets. piglets in tiger suits. i’m bursting. can there be a rule about animals wearing other animals’ suits?? that always kills me.

  18. HOLY CRAP! The tigers and piglets–astonishing!!!!!

  19. AuntieMame says:

    I may be the only one, but I think baby hippos are adorable.

    The tiger/piglet thing is cute, but a little disturbing. Some animals are not *meant* to live in “harmony.” What happens when the tiger reverts to nature and decides that the piggies are supper? Carnage…

  20. I heard about this. Way cute. I don’t think we have to worry about these two harming each other, but I do agree with AuntieMame that some species worry me some. Mainly the BIG cats. I’m not so sure I’d trust a cat and bird together very much either. The pics are sooo cute, though. Thanks for that link, Theo and Mon Schmoop!

  21. Baby hippos are so cute. What goes wrong when they grow up!?

  22. But… but… what happens when Owen grows up? Won’t Mzee be sad?

  23. Michelle says:

    OMG that’s the coolest tat ever! Hahaha! Awesome!

  24. That tat… that can’t be real…?

  25. Beauregard says:

    I am SOOO buying that book and I don’t even know any kids! Also, that tat best be real because I have to marry whoever got it.

  26. adrianna says:

    another cute & true story made into a children’s book:

    also, snake & hamster friends in tokyo zoo:

  27. OK, that link of the hamster “burrowing” into the coils of the snake is genius. Thank you, Adrianna…

  28. Subhangi says:

    Baby hippies are soooooooo cute.

  29. OH DEAR GOD!!! The cuteness! My head is going to explo-o-o-o-o-o-ode!!!!

  30. adrianna says:

    omg, the animal lib site theo linked to is totally brimming with all kinds of inter-species goodness: cats snuggling horses, piglets (wearing tiger print) snuggling tigers, squirrel snuggling injured hedgehog, cat massaging dog.

  31. The tiger with the piglets worries me too. But the rest are adorable! Interspecies (and same species, penguins) love is so cute!

  32. Man, I should have done this a while ago. Made from one of the images at that blog.

    Yay icon!


  33. Oh it’s too early for so much cuteness! This is so touching and sweet I want to punch a pillow.

  34. blondiemae says:

    my first post! yeeehh
    thats inconditional love, i wish all of us would learn to live together like that.
    you guys are the best!

  35. i am so touching

  36. “If you’ll be my bodyguard, I can be your loooong lost pal…”

  37. “I can call you Owen,
    And Owen, when you call me,
    I come crawling out,
    Never Mzee doubt.”

    (Lookit me, I’m the bastard son of Paul Simon & Yoda.)

  38. So nice to see a tortoise on this page! I love the big cuddly schmookums. P.S. About tortoise age:,,25689-2099856,00.html

  39. This is too cool! Always love stories about unlikely friendships.

  40. i am deeply in love!!!!!!

  41. C. Ollison says:

    Seriously – Mzee could outlive Owen. See this story on a 250-year-old tortoise, from today’s news:

  42. I helped write the study guide for this book when I was at my old job (it was used for the Tribeca Film Festival kid’s activities- not sure if it has been used since)- to add to the cuteness, the book itself is written by a child (with help from her father)!

  43. Owen & Mzee — GIANT SIZE

  44. Like an old man trying to send back soup at a deli… I tell you that whale was ten feet tall if he was a foot. I looked down into the blowhole and noticed an obstruction, I couldn’t quite tell with the waves crashing over me. I reached down and yelled, easy big fella. I went down, and pulled out this.
    “uh huh”
    “Hole in one”

    Fantastic work.

  45. adrienne says: