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2-year-old boy survives after 'half his body' swallowed by hippo

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Dec 22, 2022 10:15 am

Most people probably wouldn't survive a deadly hippo attack, but a two-year-old boy's upper half body was swallowed by the dangerous animal and still miraculously lived to tell the tale.

According to a statement published by the Uganda Police Force, Iga Paul was just playing at their home in Rwenjubu cell, Lake Katwe. While their place is about 800 meters away from Lake Edward, where the hippo apparently resided, Paul was suddenly grabbed by the creature from the head and swallowed half of his body.

"This is the first such kind of incident where a hippo strayed out of Lake Edward and attacked a young child," police said.

Paul's life was saved thanks to a concerned citizen who witnessed the incident, "It took the bravery of a one Chrispas Bagonza, who was nearby, to save the victim after he stoned the hippo and scared it, causing it to release the victim from its mouth."

After the hippo had fled back into its home, Paul was immediately rushed to a nearby clinic to be treated of his injuries on the hand before being transferred to a hospital, where he received a vaccine for rabies. He is now fully recovered and has been handed over to the parents by the police.

Authorities warned residents living near places where wild animals reside to always stay vigilant as such creatures are dangerous and territorial. They also advised to alert rangers should an animal wander into their neighborhood.

"Instinctually, wild animals see humans as a threat and any interaction can cause them to act strangely or aggressively," police stressed. 

While hippos are commonly portrayed as cute and friendly in media, they are in fact, one of the world's most dangerous animals and have caused about 500 deaths per year to humans in Africa. They would have gotten the title of the deadliest land animal in the world if not for the mosquito, which has caused about killed about 725,000 people per year.

According to animal information website A-Z Animals, "If a hippo does happen to attack, the odds of living through it depend on whether you can get away or not. Sadly, if a hippo is able to grab you, the odds of escaping alive are slim."