by Ryan from Eden Prairie

Owen and Mzee show their new found friendship (
Owen and Mzee show their new found friendship (

Hello, my name is Ryan and my hero is an animal named Owen. He is a hippo that lived around the Sabaki river in Kenya and the reason I find this ordinary hippo as a hero is that he sent a great message of peace. Here is his story! When he was a growing baby, Owen lived in a pack in Africa and life was good with eating plants and running around. Then something happened to his pack.

The December rains flooded the river and the hippos were flooded down the river to the villager’s crops. The hippos liked it there and stayed, eating the crops and getting the villagers mad. But the villagers couldn’t do anything because hippos are the most dangerous animal in Africa because of their weight, sharp teeth and short temper.

Everything stayed like that for a while, but then, on December 26, 2004, the sea rose like a balloon. It pounded the shore; a great deal of damage had hurt the villagers and their possessions but not even as much as the hippos. The hippos had been washed off the land and all the people saw of them, was a baby hippopotamus that had lost its mother and was stranded, alone on a coral reef engulfed with seaweed.

As soon as the villagers saw that hippo, hundreds of them were out on the now calmed waters, trying to save the hippo because all of them know that a hippo can’t survive long while drowned in salt water. They used boats, nets, ropes and even cars to try and rescue him from the watery grave. The rescue wasn’t at all easy, but then, they did it!

After a long struggle, they had cast a big shark net on him and dragged him to shore. After the rescue, they put him in the back of a pickup truck and drove him to a cold, shady spot. Eventually they called the famous Howler Park, an amazing animal sanctuary housing many rare species.

When they got to Howler Park, they untied Owen but he was very angry and practically shook the earth! Finally they did it and brought him to his habitat. The only problem, the only pen with room at howler was Mzee’s room. Mzee is a supposed to be 130 year old tortoise that does not like company. They had finally brought a very tired Owen to his pen where they laid him. Mzee was not happy and kept moving away, but Owen just kept following. Eventually Mzee got used to the company and the two sat together.

Eventually they became fond of each other and snuggled and followed each other like best friends. Everyone was astonished that an angry old tortoise and a baby hippo had become such amazing friends, but it happened. This brings me to why Owen is my hero. Owen is my hero because his act of friendship to Mzee, just shows how we can be together no matter how different we are, how aged we are or how grumpy we are, Owen sends the world a fantastic message of peace and that’s why he is my hero.

Page created on 6/9/2010 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 1/4/2017 9:08:19 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links