Aww!
Baby hippo raised by rhinos is released to meet another hippo for the first time
Charlie, who was raised by rhinos, never knew what a hippo looked like even though he was one!
Megan Bennett
11.29.22

There are certain things everyone knows to be true about hippos, right?

They’re big, they’re territorial, and they love the water.

Youtube - The Dodo
Source:
Youtube - The Dodo

But what would happen if a baby hippo had never met any other hippos but was instead raised by rhinos?

Well, he’d still be big and he’d still be territorial. But would he still love the water?

Not so much!

That is what happened to little Charlie who was abandoned at birth.

He was paired up with a rhino named Makhosi who had also been orphaned very young, and the two bonded immediately.

Youtube - The Dodo
Source:
Youtube - The Dodo

Charlie was taken in by the Zuzuland Rhino Orphanage and was raised with rhinos, he’d never seen another hippo before.

Soon, Charlie thought he was just like his friends and that he too was a rhino.

Unfortunately, hippos and rhinos have different needs when it comes to living conditions and because rhinos don’t particularly enjoy the water, Charlie avoided it too.

This was not a good thing however, as hippos don’t have the same type of skin as rhinos and Charlie soon developed a sunburn, and started overheating. His keepers would have to spray him down with water multiple times a day to keep him cool.

Youtube - The Dodo
Source:
Youtube - The Dodo

Eventually, Charlie’s caretakers knew something would have to change.

The hippo would never be able to be released back into the wild if he continued to think he was a rhino, it would be both unhealth and unsafe.

They soon heard about another little hippo who had been orphaned at a young age and could use a new hippo friend.

Youtube - The Dodo
Source:
Youtube - The Dodo

Moomin was a little girl who had no idea what it meant to be a hippo, she was bonded to a sheep.

Animal bonds, even interspecies ones, are very strong and so when Moomin moved to the Zuzuland reserve, so did her sheep friend.

They were kept in a pen within Charlie’s enclosure for a few days so the two could get used to each other, when the walls eventually came down they started interacting right away.

Youtube - The Dodo
Source:
Youtube - The Dodo

Charlie started spending more and more time with Moomin and soon learned to enjoy the water.

He still got to see and play with Makhosi and his rhino friends, a bond as strong as they had cannot be easily broken, but the amount of time together slowly wound down.

This was actually a good thing for both animals, they needed to learn how to behave like their own species if they ever wanted to be released.

Youtube - The Dodo
Source:
Youtube - The Dodo

Charlie and Moomin are now the best of friends and are both very happy to have the other.

They spend most their time playing and floating in the water and doing what hippos do.

Makhosi ended up being released and found a herd of other rhinos to call his own.

Youtube - The Dodo
Source:
Youtube - The Dodo

Both hippos are well on their way to release once their human keepers find them a suitable body of water.

The pair have bonded beautifully and, one day, just maybe, they’ll have a couple little hippo babies of their own to nurture and love.

(There were no updates about Moomin’s sheep friend, but hopefully he is doing very well too.)

Youtube - The Dodo
Source:
Youtube - The Dodo

Check out Charlie and his friends in the video below.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Megan Bennett
[email protected]
Megan Bennett is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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