When you envision travelers getting attacked by an animal – you might think of the obvious – alligator, shark, or even bear.
But did you know one of the deadliest animals in the world is actually a hippo!
These monstrous beasts are anything but cute – and once you hear the horror stories of travelers barely escaping from their deadly crutch – you’re bound to be amazed.
Many people mistakenly assume a hippo is a large and playful mammal and have no idea these creatures kill a record number of people!
Others have escaped the mouth of a hippo and lived to tell about it – and their stories are downright horrifying.
Florida couple Kristen and Ryan were enjoying a relaxing canoeing trip in South Africa…
… that is until a mama hippo felt protective of her young and thought the couple were a threat.
Tampa Bay Times reported:
“Before they could react, the mother hippo swam under the couple’s canoe and threw it into the air. Ryan was able to swim to a nearby island, but the multi-ton animal dragged Kristen under the water, its jaws snapping down on her leg and breaking her femur.”
Thankfully Kristen survived – but things could have ended different.
In another hippo attack, Safari guide Paul told the story of the time he got swallowed by a hippo twice – and barely made it out with his life.
The New York Post reported:
“Paul was trashed around in the water trying not to drown before the hippo spat him out for a second time.
But as he swam towards his friends, he saw the “monster hippo” charging towards him with its jaws wide open, before it dragged him to the bottom of the river.
He said: “I remember just lying at the bottom of the river, looking up and I’m waist-deep inside the hippo’s mouth.”
“I can see green and blue and the sunlight on the water surface. And when I look around, I can see my blood mingling the water.”
Paul was eventually rescued by one of his friends, who he said showed “incredible bravery” to paddle over and grab him.
Tragically, his friend who was knocked from his canoe by the beast drowned.
It took Paul eight agonising hours to get to a hospital without any painkillers.
Wounded, but still alive, he made it to Victoria Falls Hospital where he had his left arm amputated by doctors.”
One can’t even imagine how terrifying that experience was!
To be swallowed TWICE by a hippo and have to wait EIGHT HOURS to get to the hospital with no pain medication is unthinkable.
But even more scary – hippos don’t just attack adults – they have no problem swallowing toddlers too.
Locals in Uganda were horrified when a hippo swallowed a 2-year-old boy…
… but thankfully a bystander stoned the hippo which scared it enough to release the boy and he survived.
So just how prevalent are hippo attacks?
“While more stats need to be collected, one study found that the probability of being killed by a hippopotamus attack is in the range of 29% to 87% – higher than that of a grizzly bear attack at 4.8%, shark attack at 22.7% and crocodile attack at 25%.”
So what can you do avoid getting attacked by a hippo?
Stay away from them!
Apparently hippos are territorial and when they feel threatened or someone invades their space they respond by attacking.
So now you know!
On your next vacation, resist the urge to get up close and personal with a “cute innocent hippo” because these dangerous creatures are far from harmless and could literally swallow you whole.
Were you surprised to learn hippos are considered a deadly animal?
What animal are you most afraid of?
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