A HIPPO LOVE STORY : Readers’ Comments

Dear readers,

I hope that you enjoyed my ‘Hippo Love Story’.

Feel free to add your comments on the book and share with all of us about your feelings.





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  1. Janet Redbond

    Absolutely delightful book. Makes a great gift and would absolutely recommend it for anyone. Thank you so much for caring so much about the animals. It is a heartwarming story about love and devotion to animals. You will cry and laugh at the same time. Very inspiring. Thank you.

    • Hello Janet thank you so much for your comment about my book and I am so happy you enjoyed it. If you have time to comment on amazon it would be very much appreciated as it helps to get others to know about it and maybe get it published in UK or USA which would be fantastic and a great help for the hippos. Love Karen and all the hippos

    • Hi Janet thank you so much for recommending my book this really means so much to me. I have nearly finished the sequel! Love Karen and all the hippos

  2. Jennifer Biscoe

    Dear Karen. Your book was chosen as our monthly read at the book club I attend each month.

    Your love and dedication to the Hippos really came across in the book. I did not know very much about Hippos, before reading this book, but now, have a very deep understanding of their way of life, their humorous side and how protective they can be of not just their own kind but of the other animals when threatened by the crocodiles.

    I do know that Africa can be a difficult and dangerous place to live and although you described this in detail, it was your ability to put that to one side and protect the Hippos and other wildlife that adopted you and surrounded your wonderful home.

    The group had a good discussion about the book and were all in agreement about your love of the Hippos, your husband and life in Africa.

    • Hi Jennifer I am very honoured that your book club chose my book to read and that you found yourself learning a lot about hippos. I am also very happy that everyone appeared to enjoy the book and gain something positive from my story. Thank you for taking the time to make a comment here on the Trust’s web site. Have a great weekend Love Karen and all the hippos x

  3. Rob Wallace

    I came to meet Karen Paolillo when I travelled to Zimbabwe with a tv documentary crew back in 1995. I have never met anyone like Karen before or since. She is an original in every way. Now I have read her book, I can see how her single minded focus on the hippos has moulded her life and the lives of everyone around her. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I have kept in touch with Karen over the years, and heard many of her insightful accounts. But this is the sum of the whole. The real deal. You will learn that hippos are smarter than humans in many ways. You’ll learn about the power of perseverance. And you’ll bear witness to a beautiful love story. I am so glad that Karen has written this book. I hope you order a copy for yourself. You will see the capabilities of the human spirit writ large in Karen’s story. She is a gem.

    • Hello Rob, well I am so honoured that you have written what you have about myself and what I do here. You were here all those years ago when things were actually much easier we only had to deal with Nature. Now with what has occured in Zimbabwe we have learnt to harden our shells and continue with as much strength as possible but it sure does get hard at times. It is people like you and all those that write comments and emails to me that actually motivate me and give me the morale support to keep going. I wish you and your family a fantastic 2015 and hope one day that you will come here with them to introduce them to their adopted hippo Relief. Love Karen and the hippos

  4. Mirinda Thorpe

    Seeking a story of adventure, challenges and love in the deep bush of Zimbabwe, Africa? ‘A Hippo Love Story’ shares a perspective of raw emotional truths when faced with hardships of human wildlife conflict. The animals and people of Zimbabwe have faced challenges beyond the comprehension of most. Karen presents a personal experience of persistence in the most challenging of times. Persistence resulting in the survival of the animals she knows and loves so well. In times of large scale wildlife loss and extinction, this story shows how passion and persistence can prevail over the odds.
    Thankyou for sharing your story and showing that it is possible to make a significant difference to our planet.

    • Thank you Mirinda you know more than most people what it is like here at Hippo Haven as twice now you have house sat and have come all the way from Australia to do this for me. I appreciate your words and your friendship more than you will ever know. Love Karen and the hippos xxx

  5. Dear Mary

    it is a privilege for me when I meet anybody who helps these hippos so it was a likewise pleasure meeting you in London at that time. Alice did an amazing job with the website and I hope to meet up with her again at some stage. I am so pleased you enjoyed my book even with the bad bits which sadly is life anywhere I suppose. Just is a bit harsher in Africa in some ways. Thank you also for ordering more books to gift to libraries in the States that is extremely thoughtful of you. Love Karen and all the hippos

  6. Mary Egoian

    I have read A Hippo Love Story by Karen Paolillo. It is apparent that you have been blessed from the very beginning to protect God’s creatures, especially the hippos.
    From 2001-2005 my daughter Alice kept me informed of Karen’s and the hippos’ trials and tribulations as she worked on the website for Hippo Haven. In 2007 Alice and I travelled to London, England to attend Karen’s lecture at the Royal Geographic Society’s Ondatje Theatre. It was a privilege to meet this wonderful woman who is so passionate about saving hippos.
    As I read the book I had to pause at times because I was so overwhelmed with sadness or anger.Thankfully, there were many light moments as well.The book is very educational and I learned much from reading it. I have ordered several copies which I plan to gift to local libraries.
    My husband and I are the proud foster parents of Tsakus. We look forward to the latest news from the Turgwe Hippo Trust site. It keeps us connected.
    In closing, I thank you Karen and Jean Roger for your dedication and perseverance. I pray that you will continue your mission of protecting the hippos and all the animals that you love so dearly.

    Mary Egoian USA

  7. Mary-Louise Anning

    Wow, simply wow, what a fabulous book. This is such a wonderful read and a love story it truly is!. Filled with passion, and a woman’s obsession with saving her beloved Hippos and other species of amazing wildlife, you won’t be able to put it down. I was captured by Karen’s honesty about her two love affairs. One with her beloved creatures and the other with the extraordinary man who puts his life on the line for her. I gasped, delighted, laughed and cried, but tears or not, this is a feel good book, which I will be reading again. People like Karen, tirelessly working in dangerous situations to save this planet’s wildlife for the future of our children, deserve our support and a few medals!

    Mary-Louise Anning, Brisbane Australia

    • Dear Mary- Louise Thank you so much for your very kind comments and I am so happy that my book is good enough to be read more than once that is such an
      Love Karen and the hippos

  8. Rowena Spacey

    I have to say although I thought I did have an understanding of what life was like for you, having read your book I realise that I didnt have a clue. Karen you and your husband have been so brave. Really words fail me which is why I would find it so hard to write a review as I don’t think I could do your story justice and that just wouldn’t be right or fair. You both are amazing and very special people, you are what humanity should be about. To be honest most of us spend our lives in pursuit of the easy life and at times I’m ashamed of myself. Reading your book has made me refocus. I need to do more because often it seems as a species we are losing the plot with our planet and we no longer value the beautiful gifts it gives us. How barren and colourless our world could be without people like you – people with courage who are there, no matter how precarious life gets, to say no to the brutality and mindless slaughter.

    Thank you standing up and fighting for our world – for our animals. You must have been so scared and disillusioned at times but you didn’t give up despite the odds. If only there were more Karens more Jean- Rogers in the world. We surely need them.

    Rowena Spacey

    • Hello Rowena

      I am as always humbled by your comment as with many other peoples comments as well. I believe we all make a difference in our own way. It can be with a beloved companion animal, or any kind of action that we do on the behalf of an animal or of nature.If you are reading this blog then already you care, and that is what counts. Love and thanks Rowena Karen and the hippos xx

  9. Linda Pashley Murray

    What a story!!

    I was “introduced” to Karen Paolillo and her husband Jean-Roger when my friend Gail got me a copy of A Hippo Love Story for my birthday. She knows I have an affinity for African stories and that I have been an animal lover all my life-and love great adventures.
    Upon receipt I was thinking that this book might be interesting and I might learn something about hippo behavior and a lady who has created a non- profit to save the hippos.

    This book is so much more. This book made me laugh, get angry, then cry then laugh again. Karen is a terrific writer who writes “true”. She shares not only her experiences in their location on the Turgwe River in Zimbabwe with the hippos and other wildlife, but the effects her passion has on her marriage to Jean-Roger, her very personal feelings, what it is like to be unarmed and be accosted by a mob of white hating thugs and poachers, the political troubles leading to accusations of murder, the not so great white hunters,and the heart wrenching deaths and joyous births of the members of her wild life family. The bravery and courage it takes to withstand life in the bush including life threatening threatening droughts and floods.And they never gave up-that is the triumph! The happiness peace and beauty juxtaposed against the harsh reality that is Africa! For the love of hippos and in support of this remarkable couple I recommend this read to all (and check out the terrific website http://www.savethehippos.info and while you are at it Adopt-A-Hippo!).

    Linda Pashley Murray

    • Dear Linda
      it is so amazing for me to read comments like your own. To know that you found such an array of emotions from reading it means so much to me. Also I love it when you say I write “true” a huge compliment. Love Karen and all the hippos

  10. on behalf of Aki Uyetani (Japan)

    Madam Hippo!

    It’s a wonderful story. Told us how you like Africa, but also wild animals, especially hippos. With your YouTube, (turgwehippomark) I understand the environment which is quite tough. But you tried to overcome and helped hippos after drought and other serious conditions. It is fascinating work. I highly recommend to read this book along with to watch the YouTube channel, which brings more vivid scene. Thank you for your work, both of this book and also daily work with hippos.


    Aki Uyetani (Japan)

    • Hi Aki it means so much to me that the people who read my book come from all around the world. Japan is a place of such historical significance and to have you comment on my book and the you tube channel turgwehippomark, means so much to me. Aki may the sun always shine on your family.

      Love Karen and all the hippos

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