Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP via Getty Images
First things first: A two-year-old boy who was attacked by a hippopotamus in Uganda has been rescued and has made a full recovery, police say. But they also say the baby hippo was in its jaws – with the child’s head and upper body in the animal’s mouth – before a brave onlooker rescued the child.
The attack took place on December 3. 4, as a child plays in his home near a lake in Kasese District, western Uganda. The area includes several large national parks and game reserves, along with a number of lakes and safari lodges.
A boy named Iga Paul was rescued after a bystander, identified as Chrispas Bagonza, “scared the hippo with stones and pulled the victim out of its mouth.” The national police reported on thisthis is stated in the information of the local police.
“This is the first such incident,” police said, adding that a hippo had broken loose near Lake Edward and attacked the boy. The agency says the boy’s family lives about 800 meters (about half a mile) from the lake.
The hippo fled the scene after knocking the boy down – he was rushed to a local medical clinic with a hand injury. He was then taken to the hospital for further treatment.
“He made a full recovery and was discharged after receiving the rabies vaccine,” police said.
Ugandan authorities are reminding people in the region to be wary of wild animals and to report any intrusions into their neighbourhoods.
“Instinctively, wild animals see humans as a threat and any interaction can cause them to act strangely or aggressively,” police said.
The case attracted widespread attention, leading to speculation that the hippo had tried to swallow or eat the child – and it should be noted that hippos are herbivores and eat large amounts of grass. But as Ugandan based Exclusive African Safaris the website notes that scientists have confirmed that animals can also eat meat, especially when other foods are scarce.
Hippos are also known to attack other animals and humans when they feel threatened or disturbed. Multiple sales points, from National Geographic for BBCcitation estimates hippos kill 500 people each year.
“Their ability to maul most animals, including lions or crocodiles, makes the hippopotamus the most dangerous wild animal on the African savannah,” says the Exclusive African Safaris website.
Leave a Comment