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February 06, 2005

And then there's this...

One of my seminary professors, The Most High and Reverend Gail "She Who Comes in the Name of the Lord" Ricciuti, sent this story along.

Professor Gail, who happens to teach PREACHING and noticed my comment (which was made in a moment of deep sorrow and personal weakness) of a week or so ago that "any trained monkey in a suit can preach" (which clearly I could not have meant as anything except lashing out against my own inability to minister to people one-on-one because of cancer), might not hurt me quite as badly when I recover if I post this story for you. Then again, she probably will.

Here it is:

A BABY hippopotamus, swept into the Indian Ocean by the tsunami, is finally coming out of his shell thanks to the love of a 120-year-old tortoise.

Owen, a 300 kg, one-year-old hippo, was swept down the Sabaki River, into the ocean and then back to shore when the giant waves struck the Kenyan coast.

The dehydrated hippo was found by wildlife rangers and taken to the Haller Park animal facility in the port city of Mombasa. Pining for his lost mother, Owen quickly befriended a giant male Aldabran tortoise named Mzee - Swahili for "old man".

"When we released Owen into the enclosure, he lumbered to the tortoise which has a dark grey color similar to grown up hippos," Sabine Baer, rehabilitation and ecosystems manager at the park, told Reuters on Thursday. Haller Park ecologist Paula Kahumbu said the pair were now inseparable.

"After it was swept and lost its mother, the hippo was traumatized. It had to look for something to be a surrogate mother. Fortunately, it landed on the tortoise and established a strong bond. They swim, eat and sleep together," the ecologist added.

"The hippo follows the tortoise exactly the way it follows its mother. If somebody approaches the tortoise, the hippo becomes aggressive, as if protecting its biological mother," Kahumbu added. "The hippo was left at a very tender age. Hippos are social
animals that like to stay with their mothers for four years." She said the hippo's chances of survival in another herd were very slim, predicting that a dominant male would have killed him. Officials are hopeful Owen will befriend a female hippo called Cleo, also a resident at the park.

hippo 1.jpg

hippo 2.jpg

Posted by Dan at February 6, 2005 08:25 AM

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Dan, here's a popping culture page for ya:


It's disturbingly freaky, yet compellingly impossible to resist.

Posted by: folkbum at February 6, 2005 02:33 PM

This cancer thing sounds a lot like alcholism. "It wasn't me baby. It was just the liquor talking." When you review the rest of your work, are there any other take-backs?
By the way, I spoke with some trained monkeys. They said that it is true they could do the job of preaching. However, they will not consider it. It seems the pay is an insult to trained monkeys all over the world.

Posted by: Jim at February 6, 2005 04:58 PM

Thanks to Jim for doing the research on the monkeys yesterday... Those monkeys are 100% right on the pay!! OK, maybe I won't hurt Dan QUITE so bad, once he's up to it: maybe he'll only be toast instead of BURNT toast.

Posted by: Gail at February 7, 2005 12:10 AM

Psssst. If you watched the SB yesterday, you saw that CareerBuilders.com stole your monkey concept. I'd sue em'.

Posted by: Ralph at February 7, 2005 08:34 AM

Working as a "support" member of the preaching staff (humbly leading the choir), I take great offense to the whole Monkey comparisons. Our pastor definitely speaks more clearly than any of the Careerbuilders.com monkeys, rarely makes "fart" jokes, and only occasionally recieves a good kiss-up!

In a related matter, he confirmed that he would pay the monkeys more!

Posted by: Doug at February 7, 2005 11:40 AM

Doug? When I told my hubby that Dan compared him to a monkey, his response was: "Monkey see! Monkey do!" Of course he is still be trained. heh heh

Oh and Doug? I've known many a humble choir leading types in my days... They've provided much support that helped saved the rest of the preaching staff... Do you move your arms when leading or just stand there? That truly makes a HUGE difference ya know...

Posted by: Cam at February 7, 2005 03:16 PM

I'm an arm mover! I've found the participation to be proportional to the amount of arm waving. And yes, it makes a huge difference.

Posted by: Doug at February 7, 2005 05:17 PM

ARGH so cute must not go T_T at baby hippo and tortoise.

Serious illness causes bouts of irrationality and depression, particularly when combined with chemo- the stress on your endocrine system causes a drop in serotonin and dopamine.

Weirdly, however, you, I, and two other chronically ill people I know all seem to have had bouts of ARGH at around the same time.

Posted by: Danielle Taylor at February 7, 2005 06:09 PM

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