Orphaned baby hippo rescued from a drying swamp can’t fall asleep without its Human

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baby hippo Humpty gets rescued
This orphaned baby hippo developed a soft spot for its caretaker – Source: DSWT

An orphaned baby hippo called Humpty was less than a month old when she became trapped in a fast drying mud hole, with no sign of mom or other hippos in the area. Three months after being rescued, little Humpty is so attached to her caretaker that she lies next to his bed every night, suckling on his fingers until she falls asleep.

Three months ago, group of tourists flying over the Kenyan coast spotted something unusual in what looked like a dried-up lake.

They didn’t waste any time and reported the uncommon sighting to the local conservationists.

When a team from an animal rescue organization arrived at the drying swamp, all they could see was an ashy lump jutting out from the thick mud.

It was an orphaned baby hippo, struggling to stay alive.

The orphaned hippo calf was stuck in a drying mud hole in the Kiunga Forest, situated along the north coast of Kenya, between the ancient port of Lamu and the border with Somalia.

Rescuers from the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) closely observed the baby hippo first, to make sure that it was, in fact, an orphan.

orphaned baby hippo rescue
Source: DSWT

The poor thing was bogged down in the drying mud hole and surrounded by flapping catfish. There was indeed no sign of other hippos around.

With every passing minute, it was becoming quite obvious that the poor little creature was in great jeopardy. Its time was running out.

“It was evident that without intervention, it was going to die,” the rescuers said.

orphaned baby hippo trapped
Source: DSWT

The area was very distant and out of reach, so rescuing the orphaned baby hippo was no piece of cake.

Two experienced DSWT rescuers and a veterinarian flew from Nairobi to Kiunga and were then transported by helicopter to the remote mud hole. There, they met with another team who had been keeping watch over the baby hippo.

The rescuers went knee-deep into the drying swamp, captured the baby hippo and rolled it into a canvas stretcher they normally use to rescue orphaned elephant calves.

taking care of a baby hippo
Source: DSWT

The little hippo was wrapped up in a wet blanket and prepared for the most challenging part of the whole rescuing operation. It had to be slung from a helicopter for a ten-minute flight. The team of rescuers tranquilized the baby hippo, parceled it up and secured it to the skids of the helicopter.

“The orphaned baby hippo had to be parceled up and slung from beneath the helicopter for the short ten-minute flight. Thankfully, however, by this time, the tranquilizer was taking effect. And so, secured to the skids of the helicopter, the hippo calf was airlifted and flown to the airstrip, landing very gently in order not to damage the calf,” DSWT explained.

orphaned baby hippo rescued in kenya
Source: DSWT

After the ten-minute helicopter flight, the baby hippo was immediately loaded into a plane and prepared for the next leg of the journey to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust headquarters, near the Tsavo National Park.

The baby hippo would be looked after by the Trust’s field team specialized in raising numerous orphans of varying species over the years. However, the baby hippo was a first for everyone at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

little orphaned baby hippo humpty
Source: DSWT

The orphaned hippo was given a name – Humphrey, and placed under the care of DSWT’s Field Operations Manager, Frans.

It soon turned out that Humphrey was, in fact, a female. By the time the DSWT staff realized that though, the baby hippo had already grown used to its name, so instead of changing it altogether, they adjusted it to “Humphretta” or “Humpty” for short.

baby hippo bath
Source: DSWT

Upon arrival, Humpty was carefully unwrapped and hosed down with plenty of water to remove a layer of drying mud from her sunburned skin.

The poor little thing was all covered in blisters and was extremely dehydrated as well, so she was fed re-hydration fluids and milk from a bottle.

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