Meet The Man Who Was Swallowed By A Hippo And Lived To Tell The Tale

This is the way all stories should start.

The hippo who tried to kill me wasn’t a stranger – he and I had met before a number of times.

“Call me Ishmael” ain’t got nothing on, “The hippo who tried to kill me…” That line comes from an article in the Guardian written by Paul Templer, a Zambezi River tour guide whose life nearly ended when he jumped into the water to save one of his apprentices, and a hungry, hungry hippo (had to) attempted to swallow him.

I was aware that my legs were surrounded by water, but my top half was almost dry. I seemed to be trapped in something slimy. There was a terrible, sulphurous smell, like rotten eggs, and a tremendous pressure against my chest. My arms were trapped but I managed to free one hand and felt around – my palm passed through the wiry bristles of the hippo’s snout. It was only then that I realised I was underwater, trapped up to my waist in his mouth.

I wriggled as hard as I could, and in the few seconds for which he opened his jaws, I managed to escape. I swam towards Evans, but the hippo struck again, dragging me back under the surface. I’d never heard of a hippo attacking repeatedly like this, but he clearly wanted me dead.

Hippos’ mouths have huge tusks, slicing incisors and a bunch of smaller chewing teeth. It felt as if the bull was making full use of the whole lot as he mauled me – a doctor later counted almost 40 puncture wounds and bite marks on my body. The bull simply went berserk, throwing me into the air and catching me again, shaking me like a dog with a doll. (Via)

A reenactment of the moment.

Read the rest of the article here.

(Via the Guardian)