Hippo gives man, grandson a scare

2011-03-22 20:00

Johannesburg - A man and his 7-year-old grandson hid in a tree for two hours at the Vaal River in the North West at the weekend after being chased by a hippo, paramedics said on Tuesday.

"Paramedics... found that the man and his grandson had been canoeing when they were chased by the bull hippo. The two then sought refuge in a tree on the opposite side of the river," Netcare 911 spokesperson Jeffrey Wicks said.

The 52-year-old man and his grandson tried to scare the hippo away by screaming and clapping their hands.

"But they were unsuccessful. The animal stayed near the tree, surfacing sporadically to nudge their canoe."

Paramedics tried to rescue the pair, but could not get to the tree because the bushes on the riverside were too dense.

"Shortly thereafter the owner of the lodge arrived and insisted the hippo only sought food. The man entered the water and lured the hippo, named Humphrey, away from the tree with an apple.

"The traumatised man and boy were assessed by medics, but did not require hospital treatment."

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