A hungry hippo appears to have bitten off more than it could chew when it swallowed a 2-year-old boy alive—only to spit him back out again.
The infant was playing in his house in Katwe Kabatoro Town Council in the western Kasese District of Uganda when he was attacked by the animal and swallowed head first, local police reported.
Hippo Regurgitated the Child Out Alive
A local named Chrispas Bagonza fortunately witnessed the incident and managed to save the boy by throwing stones at the hippo, police said. The startled animal then regurgitated the infant and retreated to Lake Edward—which sits on Uganda's western border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo—half a mile away from the boy's home.
"This is the first such kind of incident where a hippo strayed out of the Lake Edward and attacked a young child," the Uganda Police Force said in a statement on Monday. "We want to remind all residents of Katwe Kabatoro Town Council, which is located within Queen Elizabeth National Park, to remain vigilant and always alert [park] rangers about animals that have strayed into their neighborhoods."
Boy Released from Hospital After a Rabies Vaccination
The little boy was then transferred to a hospital in the nearby town of Bwera, which lies close to the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was given a vaccine for rabies as a precaution and then discharged and released back to his parents.
Although they are herbivorous, hippos can be very aggressive and are considered to be one of the most dangerous animals in Africa and can attack humans if they feel threatened. National Geographic estimates hippos kill around 500 people every year.