In 2011, a South African man, Marius Els, adopted a baby Hippo after rescuing it from a river. 6 years later, after years of bonding between the two, the Hippo dragged him into that same river and killed him.
After repeated warnings that his pet hippopotamus was a wild animal that could never be tamed, a farmer in South Africa was killed by it.
Marius Els, a 40-year-old army major, was killed by Humphrey, a 1.2-tonne hippo he tried to domesticate on a farm in the Free State province.
Els’ savaged body was discovered submerged in the river where the hippo had been rescued from a flood years before. It outgrew its foster family and was purchased by Els at the age of five months, where it became a pet on his 400-acre farm and learned to swim with humans.
Els was photographed riding on the back of the five-year-old hippo earlier this year. He said, “Humphrey is like a son to me, he’s just like a human.” “Some people don’t understand that there is a relationship between me and Humphrey.
“They believe that you can only have relationships with dogs, cats, and other domestic animals.” But I have a friendship with Africa’s most dangerous animal.”
However, Els’s pharmacist wife, Louise, expressed reservations, and the hippo had previously caused problems.
Earlier this year, South African media reported that a 52-year-old man and his seven-year-old grandson spent two hours in a tree after being chased by Humphrey while canoeing on the farm’s river. Els was able to entice the hippo away with an apple before being rescued by paramedics.
Humphrey was also accused of murdering Els’ business partner’s calves. The animal also frequently escaped its confinement and chased golfers at a nearby course.
Els, who also had giraffe and rhino as pets, claimed that the sound of his voice would entice Humphrey to return home. He thought of the hippo as a “gentle giant” who was “loveable.”
Hippos are said to kill more people each year than lions, elephants, leopards, buffalo, and rhinos combined, thanks to their massive canine teeth. Despite weighing up to three tonnes, they can travel at speeds of up to 30 mph.