LAKE KATWE, Uganda (WFLA) — A 2-year-old boy in Uganda was swallowed by a hippo and then spit back out after a witness pelted the animal with stones, according to police.
Police said the attack happened in April but it wasn’t reported by officers until Monday.
Officials said the 2-year-old boy was identified as Iga Paul.
Police said Iga was playing at his home when the hippo grabbed him by “the head and swallowed half of his body.”
Police credited a nearby witness, Chrispas Bagonza, with saving the boy after he threw stones at the hippo and scared it, causing it to release the 2-year-old from its mouth.
Officials said Iga was rushed to a clinic and then taken to a hospital for further treatment. They said the boy recovered fully after receiving a vaccine for rabies.
Authorities said the hippo traveled about 800 meters from Lake Edward. They said this is the first time a hippo strayed out of Lake Edward and attacked a young child.
According to National Geographic, hippos’ deadly strength makes them one of Africa’s most dangerous animals. It is estimated that as many as 500 to 3,000 humans die from hippo attacks each year.
Although hippos are vegetarian, National Geographic said they can be aggressive when they sense danger.