A two-year-old boy was swallowed and spat out by a hippo while playing near his home in Uganda. Paul Iga was clenched in the mouth of the animal 800 yards away from the edge of Lake Edward.
The hippo had gotten hold of the toddler from the head and swallowed half of his body before a local man noticed and started throwing stones at the animal, according to The Daily Telegraph.
The animal was taken aback by the attack and vomited up the child — before going back in to the water.
“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,” police added.
While Paul was injured and taken to a clinic for treatment, he miraculously survived.
The toddler was transferred to a hospital in Bwera but was sent home after taking a rabies vaccine.
In a statement, Ugandan Police said: “This is the first such kind of incident where a hippo strayed out of Lake Edward and attacked a young child.”
Police told residents of Katwe Kabatoro Town Council, which is located within Queen Elizabeth National Park on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to remain wary around hippos.
Hippos are considered to be the world’s deadliest large land mammal, killing roughly 500 people every year in Africa.
At up to 2,750kg, the animals can easily crush a human to death.
Despite their primarily vegetarian diet, the hippopotamus is extremely aggressive and territorial.
The combination of sheer size, sharp teeth and mobility both in and out of water make for a deadly mammal.
They are agile and aggressive and kill large animals and sometimes humans.