A man that was swallowed by a hippo has become an Internet sensation after appearing in The Guardian's "Experience" series. The man, Paul Templer, told a detailed story about how he was a river guide that would often take groups of tourists down the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe. Templer said that he knew the hippo that attacked him as a "grouchy old two-ton bull," and he'd always expected that the hippo might try to eat him. After several close encounters with the hippo, Paul Templer was eventually swallowed by the hippo.
Paul Templer explains being swallowed by the hippo like this: His friend, who was also a tour guide, was flung from his boat after accidentally driving over the hippo on one of their excursions.
"I reached over to grab his outstretched hand but as our fingers were about to touch," said Templer. "I was engulfed in darkness. There was no transition at all, no sense of approaching danger. It was as if I had suddenly gone blind and deaf."
After being swallowed by a hippo, Paul Templer tried to reorient himself. He couldn't figure out exactly where he was, but he said that his legs were surrounded by water and his top half was dry. " I seemed to be trapped in something slimy. There was a terrible, sulphurous smell, like rotten eggs, and a tremendous pressure against my chest," said Templer. "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."
Paul Templer eventually wiggled out of the hippo's digestion system and escaped in a brief moment when the hippo opened his mouth. Unfortunately, after escaping the hippo's digestion system, Paul Templer still wasn't safe. The hippo attacked him repeatedly and doctors later counted nearly 40 puncture wounds and bite marks on his body. After mauling Templer and ravaging his body, the hippo finally spat him out and left him alone. His entire body was gored, but eventually, Templer was able to recover.
Although Paul Templer was swallowed by a hippo and lived to tell about it, many other victims of hippo attacks are less fortunate. Hippos are considered one of the most dangerous animals in the world.
For more information on what it might be like to be swallowed by a hippo, click the videos below: