hippo kills master

  Hippo’s never cross anyone’s mind when they think of adopting a pet. In as much as some people, more-so wardens get to tame the animals that they look after, we all know the consequences, in case they decide to go rogue.

Maurice and his pet hippo,Humphrey| photo Getty images

hippo, called Humphrey had been raised ‘like a son’ by farmer called Maurice since it was five months old. The devoted animal-lover, from South Africa, was so devoted to his unusual pet he went to an extent of building for it a huge lake on his farm so that it could swim in its natural habitat close to its owner.




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Where did he get the hippo

Humphrey, was salvage from a flood when he was just a baby. But, has it grew, the people who had saved him couldn’t handle him anymore, and that’s when Maurice chipped in and adopted him, gave him a home and ended up loving him more than anything else.

A couple if years passed and Humphrey , proved to be a good pet, he was cherished by Maurice’s family that it seemed that life on the 400 acre farm Humphrey was in was a paradise for him. Maurice wanted to make the hippo feel like it belonged to the family, he went to extents of teaching him how to swim with humans, and he would also brush the hippo’s teeth. Only if he had known that those jaws he was brushing would mean an end to him in future.

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Maurice, a former army major, used to say “Humphrey’s like a son to me, he’s just like a human. There’s a relationship between me and Humphrey and that’s what some people don’t understand.”

“They think you can only have a relationship with dogs, cats and domestic animals. But I have a relationship with the most dangerous animal in Africa.” He would brag about his success in taming the Humphrey.

He felt completely secure around the hippo, that he didn’t even think of anything bad. There’s is a time he was pictured riding on the 1.2 tonne Humphrey’s back,like it was a horse. However, the farmer always insisted he knew the risks of having such a dangerous animal as a pet.

Hippos are one of the most deadly animals in the world. The seemingly clumsy beasts are responsible for over 500 human deaths every year and is the world’s deadliest land mammal. They may look calm but hippos have extremely sharp teeth and are aggressive animals, when they feel provoked . Hippos are believed to kill more people than lions, elephants, leopards, rhinos and buffaloes combined.

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The fore-warned death


Months before the saddening day, when a pet turned against its owner. Neighbors and locals had warned Maurice about the Humphrey’s behavior. The hippo had become aggressive and seemed to be provoked by the sight of people. Maurice’s wife, Louise, is said to have warned her husband about his angelic pet, Humphrey.

In early 2011, according to reports in South Africa, a 52-year-old man and his grandson were canoeing on the river that passed through Maurice’s farm. Humphrey spotted them and is believed to have chased them away furiously. This made the old man and his grandson to climb a tree to save themselves. They stayed there for almost two hours before Maurice came to calm the hippo with apples.

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Maurice riding his pet hippo

Maurice would say, “I call him, and he immediately responds to come and play with me. I feed him apples. He opens his mouth. Big jaws, and teeth like this. It’s a little bit dangerous, but I trust him with my heart that he will not harm anybody. I can swim with him. I go in the water. He allows me to get on his back, and I ride him like a horse. He swims with me.” This showed how much he had trusted the Humphrey with his life, till the fateful day.

“Humphrey killed my calves. Not only that but the hippo reportedly also regularly broke out of his enclosure and wandered to the local golf club where he would chase those playing on the greens.” said Maurice long time business partner.

Maurice was always insistent that the runaway hippo could always be coaxed back to the farm, since it was a good one and it listened to him. Despite all Maurice’s claims and justifications, his neighbors and friends were not convinced and continued warning him against the Humphrey.

“We tried to warn him, but he wouldn’t listen.” Said one of Maurice’s neighbor, who had noticed the hippo’s strange behavior. Not many days later, in November 2011, the loving and obedient Humphrey turned against the man who had saved him and took him as a son. The hippo unleashed its true self, making its owner the victim, dipping it’s long jaws into his frail owner’s body and tearing it apart.

The excruciating death

It bit Maurice to death, Maurice was later found completely submerged in the river where Humphrey had been rescued six years earlier. Horrifying bite marks all over his body. The hippo really crushed him, like it never knew him.

Have you ever come across a hippo? What was your encounter like, what did you do? You can also give out your thoughts on keeping wild animals, such as snakes, hippos, gators or crocs as pets on the comment section. Remember not to play with hippos, they are not as calm as they look.

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