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

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baby hippo drinking milk from a bottle
Source: DSWT

The baby hippo spent the first night in the bathroom underneath a running shower.

She was already showing signs of becoming attached to her caretaker, Frans, so he kept the baby hippo company through the night, making sure she was moist and comfortable at all times.

humpty the orphaned baby hippo
Source: DSWT

The following day, the DSWT team finished working on Humpty’s customized stable and completed the shade netting hung over the pond.

Hippos have a valve in their throats which shuts automatically to prevent any water (or other fluids) from getting into their lungs. That made the first couple of days very difficult, because Humpty kept rejecting the milk bottle.

orphaned baby hippo
Source: DSWT

Humpty has become extremely tame. She follows Frans around everywhere and enjoys the company of all the DSWT team at Kalaku.

Over the following weeks, DSWT have created a larger customized pool which would be big enough for Humpty when she grew up. They also set up a surrounding beach with river sand for her to lie on.

baby hippo
Source: DSWT

Humpty likes her new pool so much, she refuses to leave it until well after dark, when she sees Frans walking to his bedroom.

According to DSWT, “she loves her new pool, but can be obstinate at night when she refuses to leave the pool to be safely put away”.

orphaned baby hippo smiling
Source: DSWT

“Humpty very much has a mind of her own. Given half a chance, she chooses to stay in her pond until well after dark.”

It’s only then that she gets out of the pond and sits outside, crying to be let inside Frans’ room. When Frans lets her in, she lies next to his bed suckling on his fingers until she falls asleep.

humpty the hippo
Source: DSWT

Frans is trying to break Humpty’s habit of sleeping in his bedroom by joining her in the stable several nights a week. Humpty doesn’t care where she sleeps as long as Frans is there.

“She is extremely loving, relishing close contact with those she knows and loves, and is thriving at Kaluku, blissful in her new home with all the creature comforts she could wish for.”


“Safe to say, our little orphan Humpty is an exceptionally spoilt and lucky little baby hippo, thanks to all those who sought to overcome numerous challenges in order to save her,” DSWT reported.

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