Man mutilated to death by pet hippo he allegedly rides, describes as “like a son” – World News

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A man was mutilated to death by his pet hippo – whom he previously described as “like a son to me”.
Farmer Marius Els was found dead in a river after being repeatedly bitten by the huge animal, which weighs over a ton.

Mr Els, from South Africa’s Free State Province, had adopted the hippo, named Humphrey, and images of him riding him went viral earlier this year.

He died on Sunday after being mutilated and dragged into the Vaal River near his home by the six-year-old animal.

Mr. Els, 40, previously said Humphrey answered his calls and would like to play with him.



Mr Els previously said Humphrey was “like a son to me”

“It’s a little dangerous, but I trust him with my heart that he won’t hurt anyone.”

“I can swim with him. I go into the water. It allows me to get on my back and I ride it like a horse. He swims with me. ”

The farmer then added, “He’s like a son to me.

“There is 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 pets.



Mr Els kept the giant hippo as a pet and claimed he would never hurt him

“But I have a relationship with the most dangerous animal in Africa. ”

Ambulance Service spokesman Jeffrey Wicks said: “Paramedics responded to the scene and found the man had been bitten by the animal several times.

“He had also been submerged in the river for an unknown period. ”

Humphrey, who is six, was found as a calf and raised as a pet in the Free State.

Mr Els, a former army major, is said to even brush the hippo’s teeth, claiming he has bonded with him.

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