Updated 09 December 2014

Hippo kills Limpopo man

A man has died form his injuries after initially surviving a brutal attack from a hippopotamus.


Limpopo man has died following an attack by a hippo, the provincial health department said on Tuesday.

"The man was fishing on Friday afternoon when the hippo attacked him," spokesman Macks Lesufi said.

"When he was rescued, he was badly injured."

Dashi Makhuvele fought tooth and nail with the large animal when it attacked him at Makuleke dam while fishing.

Following his ordeal, the 34-year-old man survived to tell the tale but due to the nature of his injuries he died in hospital on Sunday.

The death comes less than a week after golfer Jacques van der Sandt was killed by a crocodile at Skukuza golf course in the Kruger National Park, as reported by Traveller24. A man also narrowly survived a Puff Adder attack in Roodraai in the North West Province.

Read: Snake bites, what to do

The Daily Sun reportedly spoke to him while in hospital and he told the paper that during his scuffle with the hippo it bit him on the hip and groin.

"I knew my life was in danger and I fought the hippo like a warrior. I beat the beast repeatedly in the eyes with my fists. It let go of me but it had ripped open some of the flesh on my hip and groin. Somehow I managed to get to dry ground," he said.

Makhuvele was spotted by a friend who called an ambulance and he was taken to hospital for treatment.

Despite their docile appearance, Hippos are often referred to as the deadliest animal in Africa. Their huge size and strength, paired with a generally aggressive demeanour means that hippo attacks are not just common, but often fatal. Their habit of lying almost wholly submerged means that humans often stumble upon them by accident and hippos are usually more minded to attack than attempt to flee, say AnimalDanger. 

Read more:
Jessica the rooibos-loving hippo orphan 
Animal bites 
Elephant attacks are preventable 

Image credit: Hippopotamus by Shutterstock


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Gut health »

Can't lose weight? Blame it on your gut

Our nutrition experts weigh in on why gut health is such an important factor in weight loss, on World Obesity Day.

Sleep better »

Yes, there is such a thing as too much sleep

A new study confirms that too little sleep can impair your brain, but interestingly, too much sleep is also a problem.