A Little Touch with my Friend

Published : 1 Mar, 2021

This video shows the most important moment in my life.

After 30 years of living and working with these wild Turgwe Hippos, I have had the absolute honor of being able to touch a young male wild hippo.

His name is Steve, he turned 3 years of age in September 2020 and after being kicked out of the family due to being a male and his mother pregnant with his younger brother he found our house.  At first grazing our small lawn and then he discovered I feed two wild bush pigs and several subservient baboons at night at the back door.  So of course he wanted food having fed during the drought of 2019 with his family.  So in May 2020 he started to come along to the house every late afternoon early evening.

This video is where on 24th February for the first time in my life I touched a hippo.


Very briefly  not more than a second but enough to be the most amazing experience I have ever had in my life with a wild animal.  Something I have always wanted to be able to do and just so special. I will not make a habit of it as he must remain wild and not habituated to a human but it is still a feeling and will be a memory I will cherish for the rest of my life.

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  1. Susan Monteiro

    Very touching! Thanks for sharing such a special moment.

  2. Hilary Johnson


  3. karen paolillo

    hello Elke yes such a blessing and so special a moment to cherish all my life. Love and hugs Karen and the hippos xx

  4. Elke Riesterer

    A second of a touch, memorable forever – and wise not to repeat so he does not loose his fear of humans.
    Steve likely knows you are a safe person and coming over and over to your place shows such that.
    You got a precious gift of trust. Blessings are given to the ones who can transcend mindfully the cross species barriers. ❤️❤️

  5. Lona Goudswaard

    That was the touch of a lifetime indeed, Karen. I’ve never touched, or even tried to touch any of my wallabies because I want to keep them as wild as possible and away from people, so I know how you must have felt touching Steve even for a second. I don’t think many people ever have touched a wild hippo. And lived to tell the tale.

  6. Pierre GOFFINET

    Un moment exceptionnel ! Nous sommes heureux de partager votre enthousiasme !

  7. Kenji

    Aww that’s so awesome!

  8. Stefania

    Adoro gli Ippopotami, vivere con loro è il mio sogno più grande!


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