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2-year-old Ugandan boy survives after hippo swallowed him

2-year-old Ugandan boy survives after hippo swallowed him
Two hippopotamuses play together at Dusit Zoo in Bangkok on Monday July 27, 2009.   -  
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A 2-year-old boy mysteriously survived a hippopotamus attack in Uganda after the animal swallowed half his body.

The minor identified as Iga Paul had been playing at his home in Rwenjubu cell, near Lake Edward on Dec. 4 when the hippo grabbed him, the Uganda Police Force said.

It took the bravery of a good Samaritan identified as Chrispas Bagonza to save the victim by stoning the hippo and scaring it. By then the Hippo had already swallowed half of the victim’s body but spat him out according to the Ugandan police.

The police said this is the first time a hippo has strayed from the lake to attack a young child.

After the incident, the child was treated at a hospital for injuries to his hand and given a rabies shot. He has since made a full recovery.

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 vigilant around hippos.

"Although the hippo was scared back into the lake, all residents near animal sanctuaries and habitats should know that wild animals are very dangerous," Uganda Police said. "Instinctually, wild animals see humans as a threat and any interaction can cause them to act strangely or aggressively."

Hippos are the second-largest land mammals on Earth, and they have a reputation for being aggressive, can snap a canoe in half with their strong jaws, according to National Geographic.

Hippopotamuses kill an estimated 500 people a year in Africa.

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