Farmer mauled to death by his pet hippo referred ‘like a son to me’

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A farmer in South Africa was reportedly mauled to death by his pet hippo which the man had previously referred to as “like a son to me.” Marius Els, 40, was found dead in a river with multiple bite injuries on Sunday.

According to SkyNews, Els, who lived in the Free State province adopted the hippo he named “Humphrey” when found as a calf. You Tube videos went viral of Els riding the 2,000 pound animal.

Els stated Humphrey enjoyed playing together, the animal would come when he was called and even allowed Els to brush its teeth. More than once, Els stated he trusted Humphrey and the animal would never hurt anyone. Often the two would swim together and Els would get on the hippo’s back.

“There’s a relationship between me and Humphrey and that’s what some people don’t understand,” Els reportedly stated. “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.”

Check out one of the YouTube videos of Els and Humphrey. Make you your own mind if Humphrey looks happy here:

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(Photo via screenshot YouTube, Bancroft Media)


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