You’re probably not clueless enough to think real life hippos are cute and cuddly, but did you know hippos are Africa’s deadliest animal? Paul Templer, a river guide showing tourists the sights near Victoria Falls, near the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia back in 1996, found this out the hard way when he almost lost his life inside a hippo’s mouth.
Templer had taken a couple people out on the river. They were just chilling, drinking wine, eating snacks. They saw some hippos. Templer went to paddle around the hippos, and then, all of a sudden, he saw one of his party flying through the air. He went to save him, and then, found himself in darkness. He tried to figure out where he was. He was down a hippo’s throat. The rest of the story is in this video.
So Templer, having survived the attack and the “excruciating agony” of having his arm crushed and his body mauled, is now a motivational speaker. He takes pretty weighty long pauses and he’s a little self-important. But hey, he survived a hippo attack, and now, he’s got some advice for people trying to get from where they are to where they want to be. (Hint: The answer to the second one is NOT “inside a hippo.”)
Paul Templer, River Guide Swallowed By Hippo, Retells Harrowing Near-Death Experience, Huffington Post.
Get Grist in your inbox