An unusual friendship between a cow and a bloat of hippos is drawing the attention of zoologists worldwide. Rangers in the Masai Mara National Park, Kenya, came across what they thought would be an eminent hippo attack on a stranded cow on Lake Naivasha. Hippos are territorial, and the dominant bull presides over a stretch of water over groups of five to thirty cows and calves. The hippo is among the most dangerous animals due to its highly aggressive and unpredictable nature. However, according to reports, both hippo and cow emerged to graze on grasses bordering the lake.
For several days, just before the night began, they were seen leaving the water to feed on land. Wildlife biologists who were called to study this new behavior even mentioned that the cow, named by locals Moonie the Moocher, would enter the water several times during the day. They speculated she was also cooling her body temperature. Although hippos lie close to each other, they do not seem to form social bonds except between mothers and daughters, and they are not social animals. This is the first evidence of a unique bond that defies all studies on hippos’ behavior.
The photo went viral on Instagram with over 149,000 views and 17,323 likes.