YIKES: Man Takes Orphaned Hippo In As A Pet — That Was A Mistake

Written by Wes Walker on December 18, 2020

That ‘hippopotamus for Christmas’ song may sound cute when a little kid sings it, but in real life, it’s a nightmare scenario.

Nature, however tame you may think it is, is ‘red in tooth and claw’.

A man from South Africa named Marius Els found an orphaned hippo calf several years ago, and he took it in and nursed it to health.

Because it was raised under his roof, he fed it, and he treated it as a house pet for years, Els thought of it as tame. He was very, very wrong.

How bad could it be, right? It was raised with him since it was a calf.

Hippos are cute, right? They’ve even got a kids game made featuring them.

What would you have said if he had offered the same logic with a crocodile, or even a hyena or dingo? You’d say he was out of his mind to think it could be tamed, right?

What if you heard that hippos kill more people than any other large animal except for snakes and crocodiles. Lions and elephants kill about 100 per year, and hippos kill 5 times that.

Els named the hippo Humphrey after adopting the beast when it was still a calf. It grew to be 2,000 pounds in size. According to Fox News, he said in previous interviews that he did everything from play with the hippo to brushing its teeth. He also claimed the beast responded to his calls, Fox reported.

Els felt he could trust the animal implicitly, although it turns out he was very wrong.

“It’s a little bit dangerous, but I trust him with my heart that he will not harm anybody,” Els said, according to Daily Mirror. “I can swim with him.”

Daily Mirror quoted an ambulance service spokesman Jeffrey Wicks as saying of Els’ final moments: “Paramedics responded to the scene to find that the man had been bitten several times by the animal.” It was unclear how long Els had been “immersed” in the river. –Heavy

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