Hippo Swallows 2-Year-Old Boy Whole, Spits Him Back Out Alive
A 2-year-old boy from Uganda is lucky to be alive after a rogue hippopotamus swallowed him whole and spit him back out.
According to a police report from the Uganda Police Force, Iga Paul was playing near his home when the hippo approached, grabbing him by “the head and swallowing half of his body.”
Police credit a witness, Chrispas Bagonza, with saving the boy’s life.
Bagonza noticed the bizarre encounter and quickly began throwing stones at the hippo. Scared by the rocks, the animal released the little boy from its mouth.
Officials say Paul was rushed to a nearby medical clinic before being transported to a hospital for additional treatment. Paul was also administered a rabies vaccine.
The boy has since made a full recovery.
As for the hippo, authorities believe the animal had traveled from Lake Edward, which is located about half a mile from where the incident occurred.
Lake Edward is located between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Authorities claim this is the first time a hippo has strayed out of the Lake Edward area and attacked a young child.
Although hippos are vegetarian, National Geographic cites the hippo as one of Africa’s most dangerous animals.
While hippos aren’t typically aggressive, their deadly strength and speed underwater makes them a threat to humans.
National Geographic estimates that between 500 and 3,000 people die each year from hippo attacks.
The animal's name derives from the ancient Greek word for "river horse."