Thursday, August 20, 2009

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas...

I first heard that song a few years ago on a Christmas cd a co-worker had going in her car. Apparently it's from the fifties, which makes it all the more incredible that I haven't heard it. But I immediately loved it and downloaded it from iTunes. You really can get pretty much anything there. Every time it comes on when I have the settings on shuffle, it makes me smile and ponder how exactly one would get a hippopotamus for Christmas. 

I know a hippo is not a pachyderm, but for some reason my thoughts shift from hippos to elephants when I ponder one or the other (which I promise isn't that often). I found the following story on NECN regarding Motala, an elephant injured by a landmine 10 years ago. The elephant lost part of its left front leg and was recently fitted for a prosthesis. The 48 year-old elephant lives at The Friends of Asian Elephants Foundation and became the poster elephant for those injured by landmines. The video is without commentary but very dear. You can see the elephant hesitant at first to use the leg, but by the end, it's walking fairly normally.

Awhile back I did a story on baby turtles being nesting in and around a Thai military base then being released back into the wild. I recently found a few more good news stories on turtles and figured I'd make it an Animal Kingdom-type post today. The next story comes off someone's SCUBA blog. The writer was part of a conservation effort in Mexico, and (I'm assuming it's a) her post is really sweet, the passion for the work very evident. They helped 92 baby turtles hatch and make it into the sea for the first time. 

Hopefully none of those turtles ever end up at the place highlighted in this story. In the middle of the Florida Keys sits The Turtle Hospital - a converted strip club that has become one of the few veterinary clinics around for wild turtles. The hospital treats turtles who have been attack or have developed tumors or other illnesses and releases as many as possible back into the wild. IT all started when the owner bought a hotel and wanted to keep turtles. The state of Florida said the only way he could keep endangered animals was to rehabilitate them, so the hospital was started. The staff have had to learn as they go along, but all the turtles who pass through here, and the ones who stay because they are too sick to be released, are treated with the best medicine they have and a lot of TLC.

(Photo courtesy of

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