When you think of dangerous animals, what comes to mind? Maybe a large member of the feline family like a tiger or lion? Perhaps you think of something venomous like a snake or something with terrifying teeth, like an alligator or shark? What about the actual most dangerous animal on the African continent, the hippopotamus? Considering they can weigh around 3,000 pounds, an encounter with one of these things can be very dangerous and indeed it almost was for a young child in Uganda earlier this month.
THE KID IS FINE
Before we continue, we do want to state that the child, Iga Paul, is safe, and has made a full recovery. So as we go through what happened you can read with the knowledge that everyone involved in the attack is okay; presumably including the hippo. Which also means that we can make a joke about how maybe you shouldn’t want a hippopotamus for Christmas, despite what the novelty song suggests. Never mind the dangerous situations you can get into, how would you be able to afford maintaining the thing? Where would you keep it and how would you get enough food to feed it? Anyway, enough about the song, let’s talk about a hungry, hungry hippo.
Iga was playing by his home in the Katwe-Kabatoro district of Uganda on December 4th when a hippo decided to tread out of the water, potentially in search of food. Though hippos are not generally carnivorous, it has been noted that they can eat other animals if food is scarce. And so the hippo in question found Iga, and started trying to devour him, head first. There was every potential for this to become disastrous if not for the actions of a nearby witness.
Chrispas Bagonza saw the hippo attacking Iga and rushed in to help. Reportedly, Bagonza attempted to scare the hippo off by stoning it. We assume this means that he threw rocks at the hippo and not that he attempted to drug it. His efforts proved successful though as the large mammal spit Iga out and retreated back to the water. Fortunately, Iga was relatively unharmed with mild injuries to his hand and was treated and released. Though he did have to get a rabies vaccine, something that doesn’t seem scary on its own until you start thinking about the possibility of rabid hippos. Remember “Cujo?” Somehow we think things would’ve ended up much differently for Dee Wallace if it was a rabid hippo and not a St. Bernard attacking her in the car.
We are incredibly grateful to hear that this potential tragedy was averted. Not so happy to hear about the possibility of rabid hippos, but you can’t have everything we guess. You also can’t have a hippopotamus for Christmas, just that board game. Proving once again, that no matter what form hippos take, you need to be careful around them.