In an incident similar to what happened in the Bible when Jonah was swallowed by the fish and later swallowed, a two year old boy was over the weekend swallowed by a hippopotamus that later vomited him alive.
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 seized by the animal and gobbled head first, local police reported.
A man named Chrispas Bagonza 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.”
The boy was rushed to hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries and vaccinated against rabies. He has now been returned home to his parents.
Hippos can be very aggressive and are considered to be one of the most dangerous animals in sub-Saharan Africa. National Geographic estimates hippos kill around 500 people every year.
The third-largest land mammal after elephants and white rhinos, adult hippos usually weigh between 2,800 to 7,000 pounds—about the same as a car—and grow to between 7 and 16 feet. They are found in wetlands, rivers, lakes and swamps.