Witness a Rescued Hippo Raised by Rhinos Meet a Hippo to Teach Him ‘How to Hippo’!

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Updated: October 18, 2023
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If you’re looking for something to brighten up your day, look no further. You’re about to read about a precious baby rhino meeting a member of its own species for the first time. Charlie is the rescued hippo who was left behind when he was just a few days old. 

Thanks to some caring individuals, the little hippo was raised alongside rhinos. Because rhinos have a slightly different lifestyle than hippos, Charlie most likely believed he was a young rhinoceros as well. Surprisingly, he disliked playing in the water. 

This is an issue since hippos must wade in the water to avoid being sunburned. Thankfully, his carers would spray him down with a hose to make sure this rescued hippo didn’t become too warm. 

Watch the Friendship Bloom Here

Becoming Best Friends

Hippopotamus baby with mother

Young hippos are fully weaned by 18 months old.

©Kelly Engelbrecht/Shutterstock.com

Ultimately, a day arrived when he encountered another tiny hippo with the endearing name Moomin. We have the video for you below of when the two cuties finally met! This took place at the Zululand Rhino Orphanage in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Moomin happened to be bonded to some sheep. What can we say? Just about anything can happen in the wild. The sheep joined the young hippo in a smaller pen alongside Charlie. Introducing the animals slowly is a key part of helping them get along. 

Eventually, they removed a gate separating the two, and Charlie’s curiosity unfolded. Seeing Moomin in the water splashing around instantly caught Charlie’s attention. Without hesitation, the hippo joins her in the water and starts rolling around. 

They got on so well, that they eventually had to move them into a larger space. Slowly, the carers had Charlie spend more and more time with Moomin and less time with the rhinos. Although this may seem sad, it’s beneficial for both species. 

Hippo Birthing Process and Baby Hippo Facts

Hippos are absolutely adorable animals. Hippos’ newborn calves weigh between 50 and 100 pounds! Given that hippos are the third-biggest terrestrial animal after elephants and rhinos, it should come as no surprise that their offspring are enormous. 

A typical baby hippo weighs about 100 pounds when it is born. Until they are approximately eight years old, the baby hippos often stay with their mothers. As we know in Charlie’s case, he was abandoned and left to fend for himself. 

The female hippo falls into full social seclusion when it is nearly time for birth, and she does so until she gives birth to her babies. During what is typically the wettest season of the year, newborn hippos are born underwater. 

The babes are delivered with their hind legs breaching first. The young hippo’s mother is able to save energy throughout labor by giving birth underwater. Additionally, it guards against predators attacking or even eating the newborn calf.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Paul Maritz / CC BY-SA 3.0 – License / Original


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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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