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Toddler survives being swallowed by a hippo in Uganda | World News

A two-year-old boy has survived being swallowed by a hippo in Uganda.

Iga Paul was playing near his home less than a kilometre from the edge of Lake Edward in the Kasese district of southwest Uganda when he was attacked.

The hippo grabbed the toddler by the head and swallowed half of his body.

A local man, Chrispas Bagonza, noticed and starting throwing stones at the animal to try and stop it.

The hippo spat out the child in apparent fear before making its way back to the water.

Police praised Mr Bagonza for saving the boy’s life.

“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,” Katwe territorial police said.

The boy was taken to hospital to be treated for injuries to his hand after the incident on 4 December but has fully recovered and been discharged to his home in Rwenjubu Cell.

He was given a vaccine for rabies.

Police said it was the first time a hippo had strayed out of the lake and attacked a young child.

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They reminded people to be cautious.

“Although the hippo was scared back into the lake, all residents near animal sanctuaries and habitats should know that wild animals are very dangerous,” the force said.

“Instinctually, wild animals see humans as a threat and any interaction can cause them to act strangely or aggressively”.

An estimated 500 people across Africa are killed by hippos each year, making them the world’s deadliest mammal.

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