Hippo swallows two year old boy whole and then spits him out alive
| Last updated
A two-year-old child who was almost swallowed whole by a hippo narrowly avoided death after the animal spat him back out again.
According to the Daily Telegraph, two-year-old Ugandan boy Paul Iga had his head grabbed by a hippo's jaws and was halfway to being swallowed whole before he was rescued.
The child had been playing near Lake Edward when the hippo attacked him, he was about 800 yards from the shore of the lake when the animal tried to swallow him whole.
It could have been so much worse for the young boy, but luckily help was at hand and a local attacked the hippo to rescue the child, throwing stones at it until it spat Paul back out.
Paul was taken to hospital in Bwera and released after being given a rabies vaccine, having survived the life-threatening experience.
Ugandan police explained the incident in a statement and praised the efforts of a local whose heroic efforts played a huge part in rescuing the young boy from the hippo's jaws.
They said: "This is the first such kind of incident where a hippo strayed out of Lake Edward and attacked a young child.
"It took the bravery of one 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."
While they may be herbivores and don't prey on the flesh of other living creatures, hippos are deadly beasts and can become incredibly dangerous when they feel threatened.
Hippos are thought to kill hundreds of people each year and have been known to attack humans who get too close.
Paul might be a lucky name for those trying to avoid being swallowed by a hippo as another Paul managed to survive being swallowed three times by hippos.
Paul Templer had been canoeing in Zimbabwe when hippos attacked his group, with one tipping him into the water and attempting to swallow him three times.
He unfortunately did not get out of the encounter completely unscathed, losing an arm in the process.
Being incredibly big, aggressive and unpredictable makes them a very dangerous animal, as do their powerful jaws which allow them to crush pumpkins and watermelons with seemingly very little effort.
They rank among the deadliest animals humans have to contend with so if you're ever close enough to spot one in the wild make sure you keep your distance and have a quick way of escaping if it chases you.
Featured Image Credit: Image Professionals GmbH / Alamy Karin De Winter / Alamy
Topics: World News, Animals, News