A rogue hippopotamus in southwestern Uganda, attacked and swallowed half the body of a two-year-old child but miraculously spat him out while still alive.
According to a statement from the Uganda police force, the little boy identified as Iga Paul was attacked by the hippopotamus on Sunday, December 4th at around 3 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET).
In a statement, police said the little boy had been playing around his house in Rwenjubu in Katwe, which is only about eight hundred meters away from Lake Edward, home to at least 1,500 hippopotamus. A local resident who was nearby, witnessed the incident and bravely stoned the hippopotamus and scared it. The animal hence released the boy.
A spokesperson of the Uganda Police Force, said, “It took the bravery of… 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.”
The first Lake Edward hippopotamus to swallow a child
Police stated the incident was the first of its kind in which a hippo strayed out of Lake Edward and attacked a young child. It’s truly a bizarre incident for the country.
The child was immediately rushed for treatment to a nearby clinic, as he suffered hand injuries, but he was later transferred to Bwera Hospital for further treatment. Police and news outlets praised the bravery of the rescuer.
The child was discharged after fully recovering and also received a vaccine for rabies before being handed back to his parents by the police.
Police warn of dangerous nature of hippopotamus
According to police, although the hippo was scared back into the lake, all residents near animal sanctuaries and habitats should know wild animals are very dangerous.
Police warned that out of instinct, wild animals see humans as a threat, and any interaction can cause them to act out aggressively.
Therefore, all residents of Katwe-Kabatooro, located within Queen Elizabeth National Park, where the incident occurred, are urged to remain vigilant and cautious.
The police also advised residents to always alert Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers about animals that have strayed into their neighborhoods so that they can deal with them immediately.
According to National Geographic, the hippopotamus is known as one of the most dangerous animals on the planet and can snap a canoe in half with its strong jaws.
Hippopotamuses are also known for killing around five hundred people a year in Africa. This is a strikingly high number in comparison to other animals.
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