A 2-year-old Ugandan boy was partially swallowed by a hippo earlier this month but miraculously survived the attack. Now, according to a new report, a nearby bystander stoned the animal in order to rescue the child. USA Today reports that Uganda police stated that the incident took place roughly half a mile from Lake Edward in the Kasese District.
The boy, identified as Paul Iga, was playing by near his home when the hippo attacked and began to try and eat him. A nearby witness saw what happened and ran to save the child by throwing rocks at the hippo. Eventually, the creature spit the child out of its mouth. Iga was transported to a hospital for medical care. He was later released to his parents with, thankfully, no life-threatening injuries.
In a public report, the Uganda Police Force stated, "The territorial police in Katwe – Kabatoro, in Kasese, registered an incident of a hippo attack, after it grabbed a two year old boy, identified as Iga Paul, from the head and swallowed half of his body. The victim was attacked on the 04.12.2022, at around 3pm, while playing at their home in Rwenjubu cell, Lake Katwe – Kabatoro Town Council in Kasese District. The home is about 800meters from Lake Edward. This is the first such kind of incident where a hippo strayed out of the Lake Edward and attacked a young child."
The UPF then noted the hero bystander, explaining, "It took the bravery of a 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. The victim was immediately rushed for treatment to a nearby clinic, for injuries on the hand and later transferred to Bwera Hospital for further treatment. He recovered fully and was discharged, after receiving a vaccine for rabies. He was thereafter, handed over to the parents by police."
The department went on to say, "Although the hippo was scared back into the lake, all residents near animal sanctuaries and habitats, should know that wild animals are very dangerous. Instinctually, wild animals see humans as a threat and any interaction can cause them to act strangely or aggressively. We want to remind all residents of Katwe-Kabatooro Town Council, which is located within Queen Elizabeth National Park, to remain vigilant and always alert UWA rangers, about animals that have strayed into their neighbourhoods."