Lost hippo looking for his family

30 March 2021 | Health

Windhoek • [email protected]
This family is making it their mission to find the owner of a lost hippo soft toy they picked up on the
Uis – Henties Bay road during the long weekend trip.
According to Denise van Heerden, they were on their way from Damaraland to Mile 108. “We
decided to use the Messum crater 4x4 road through the desert which leads directly to Mile 108. But
we hadn't driven that road before and were not sure about the condition and best track to use.
When we turned from the Uis – Henties Bay Road (C35) onto the D2342 we realized that our road
app on the phone hadn't downloaded all the tracks, so we slowed down to use the last bit of signal
to download it,” she said.
The family saw the little hippo lying next to the road, face down in the dirt. “We first passed it, but
then my husband turned around and we gave it a better look. There was nobody there, no people,
no car. The poor little guy must have been there for a while.”
But it was her mommy heart that made her pick up the soft toy in an effort to find its rightful owner.
“We thought of the small child that is now missing his cuddly companion.”
The family assumes the owner is Namibian, as the area doesn't belong to the main tourist route and
there are no lodges nearby. Photos of the hippo were posted on the Camping in Namibia Facebook
page, but so far his owner has not been found.
“My daughter lost her rabbit soft toy in Otjiwarongo when she was a year old. It was never found.
She was so sad. I can imagine what the mom must be going through right now. In terms of the post, I
was overwhelmed by the response and how many times it was shared. I would have never imagined
that so many people would care,” Denise said.
The little hippo-teddy will be living with the Van Heerdens until the owners are found; luckily no
longer alone, needing to brave the elements.
“I have even received a message from somebody from Germany who shared her story about how
her daughter, who is now 13, lost her toy on the airplane some years ago and was never found. She
proposed if the owner isn’t found, she would ‘adopt’ him for her daughter.”

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