Owen & Mzee – The Language of Friendship – book review

March 23, 2011  By: Gretchen

This wonderful, true story describes the unlikely friendship between a rescued, orphaned hippo and a 130-year-old tortoise living together in a wildlife sanctuary in Kenya. It’s possible you’ve heard of this pair, as they made headlines around the world in 2004 when they first met. This children’s book is full of charming photos and describes their first year or so living together.

Owen the hippo was only a baby when he was rescued from a coral reef at the mouth of the Sabaki River and brought to the sanctuary. At the time, Owen was only two feet tall (but about 600lbs!). He has thrived in the sanctuary through his friendship with Mzee (Swahili for ‘wise old man’), and despite Owen growing much larger, Mzee the tortoise is most certainly still in charge.

The book is one of a series focusing on Owen and Mzee written by father and daughter team of Craig and Isabella Hatkoff in conjunction with the director of Owen and Mzee’s care, Dr. Paula Kahumbu. It is a positive, uplifting story of friendship through adversity and is appropriate for all ages. If you’d like to visit Owen and Mzee at Haller Park in Malindi, Kenya – call us to plan your trip!

Are you interested in planning a trip to Kenya?