Hippo swallows 2-year-old boy and throws him up alive

A 2-year-old boy survived after being swallowed and then choked out by a hippopotamus. Ugandan police reported that the child was grabbed by the animal while playing at his home and swallowed upside down.

The incident took place at the Katwe Kabatoro City Council in Uganda’s western Kasese district. The boy’s home was half a mile from Lake Edward, which borders the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the hippopotamus is believed to have emerged.

Hippopotamus with an open mouth
Stock image of a hippopotamus with his mouth open. The animal devoured the boy head first, devouring half his body.
Udo Kieslich/Getty

“This is the first incident of its kind in which a hippopotamus strayed from Lake Edward and attacked a young child,” Ugandan police said in a statement Monday.

Police said a man named Chrispas Bagonza saved the boy by throwing rocks at the hippopotamus. The frightened animal vomited the child out of its mouth and retreated to Lake Edward.

The boy was immediately taken to the hospital, where he was treated for injuries and vaccinated against rabies. He has now been returned home.

Hippos are the third largest land mammal on earth after elephants and white rhinos. Adults typically weigh between 2,800 and 7,000 pounds — about the same as a car — and grow to between 7 and 16 feet tall, as estimated by the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology’s online database Animal Diversity Web.

These semi-aquatic animals are found throughout sub-Saharan Africa in wetlands, rivers, lakes and swamps and spend most of their day wallowing in the water.

Hippos are generally herbivores, although they have occasionally been seen eating dead animals. They can also be very aggressive and are considered one of the most dangerous animals in sub-Saharan Africa.

It’s not known exactly how many people were killed by hippos, however National Geographic It is estimated that they kill around 500 people each year in Africa alone. These animals can open their huge mouths 180 degrees and have an extremely strong bite force.

hippopotamus in the water
Stock image of a hippopotamus in the water. Hippos may look docile, but they are responsible for an estimated 500 human deaths on the African continent each year.
USO/Getty

“Their bite force is 12,600 kPa, which is about three times that of a lion,” said Lochran Traill, an ecologist and conservation scientist from the University of Leeds in the UK, previously news week. “That’s why they’re so dangerous — they cause significant trauma to the human body through crushing force, whether it’s biting or trampling.”

In September, a hippopotamus in Kenya reportedly bit a large chunk off the shoulder of a man. “I stepped out of my house when I heard the screams of the neighbors and came face to face with the beast,” the victim told local news outlet Citizen Digital. After pretending to be dead, the man was taken to the hospital, where he was restored to stable condition.

Do you have an animal or natural story to tell? news week? Have a question about Hippo? Let us know at nature@newsweek.com.

https://www.newsweek.com/hippo-swallows-2-year-old-boy-throws-alive-1766673 Hippo swallows 2-year-old boy and throws him up alive

Rick Schindler

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