Man lived to tell the tale of being swallowed by a hippo
May 09 2013
Danny Cox, Orlando News Examiner
When a person gets swallowed by a hippo, it would be thought that would be the end of the story, and there would be nothing further to tell. That isn't the case for river guide Paul Templer who was swallowed by a hippo back when he was 27-years-old, but somehow lived to tell the tale, according toFox13 on Thursday, May 9, 2013.
17-years ago, Templer was a river guide and would take groups of tourists down the Zambezi River along the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia. Now, he lives in Michigan, but he can't ever forget the "grouchy old two-ton bull" that attempted to swallow him whole.
"There was a terrible, sulfurous smell, like rotten eggs, and a tremendous pressure against my chest," Paul Templer said.
Templer said that he had met the hippo before, and it had even rushed at him a couple times when he would invade its territory too much. One time though, he got a bit too close.
"We were near the end of the tour, the light was softening and we were taking in the tranquility ” Templer wrote. “The solid whack I felt behind me took me by surprise. I turned just in time to see Evans, who had been flung out of his boat, flying through the air. His boat, with his two clients still in it, had been lifted half out of the water on the back of the huge bull hippo."
Acting on instinct, Templer shouted for others to get to safety. He turned around to help Evans, but it was then that he was enveloped in darkness. From there, Templer's tale takes a terrifying turn.
"I was aware that my legs were surrounded by water, but my top half was almost dry. I seemed to be trapped in something slimy. There was a terrible, sulfurous smell, like rotten eggs, and a tremendous pressure against my chest. My arms were trapped but I managed to free one hand and felt around – my palm passed through the wiry bristles of the hippo’s snout. It was only then that I realized I was underwater, trapped up to my waist in his mouth."
Once the hippo took a breath, Templer somehow freed himself but was then dragged under again. All of a sudden, instead of being swallowed by a hippo, Templer was spat out and his friends dragged him to safety.