In the least surprising news of late, a South African man who considered a hippo to be his pet was killed by the animal last week.
Marius Els, 40, a farmer from Free State was found by a paramedic lying in the river with multiple bite wounds from the animal. Els, whose full name respectfully sounds like a Harry Potter spell, went viral on the internet a year ago after videos showed him riding the animal like a horse. Humphrey, the animal in question, was found by Els as a calf and was described by the deceased as “like a son to me.”
According to the BBC, hippos kill an estimated 500 people per year in Africa, good for sixth-most among animals per the report. The animals which grow to be 3,300-4,000 pounds and 11-17-feet long on average, can run up to 30 miles per hour, which is 2.2 mph faster than Usain Bolt’s record which took place in the World Record-setting 100-meter race in Berlin.
One would think the eponymous children’s board game Hungry Hungry Hippos would have been dead giveaway, but Els insisted that he was safe around Humphrey when interviewed last year.
“There’s 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 domestic animals,” he said. “But I have a relationship with the most dangerous animal in Africa.”
A good rule of thumb moving forward to the weary yet interested potential owners of exotic pets could be the words from your local veterinarian. If they say, “sure can’t wait” when you try to schedule an appointment, like they would for a golden retriever, then yes, that animal should be fine. If they tell you, “don’t f***ing bring that thing close to our building,” like they would with say, I don’t know, a 4,000-pound hippo, then maybe steer clear.
No word yet on if Hasbro will rename its iconic 1978 board to Hungry Hungry Hey Maybe Just Cut Your Losses and Get a Dog.