Swallowed by a hippo
Swallowed by a hippo
00:00 / 02:42
Rock News

We spoke to the bloke who survived being swallowed & ripped apart by a hippo

The Rumble have talked about this story for years, and we finally got to meet the man himself.

For years, The Morning Rumble have been talking about the bloke who was swallowed by a hippo three times, ripped apart, and still managed to survive. 

We were absolutely stoked to finally be able to chat with the man himself, Paul Templer, about the insane survival story that all happened back in 1996, when he was a tourist guide in Zimbabwe. 

While he was out taking a canoe tour near Victoria Falls, one of the other canoes was hit by a hippo, and threw Paul’s colleague, another guide, into the water.

While he instructed another guide to get the tourists to safety, Paul set out to go and rescue his colleague, when "all of a sudden, everything went dark,” he told The Rumble. 

“There was this incredible pressure crushing down on my lower back, my arms were pinned to my sides…

“I’m up to my fricken waist down a hippo’s throat.”

Luckily, Paul was able to grab hold of the hippo’s tusks and wiggle himself around and get out of the hippos mouth. Unfortunately, the hippo wasn’t finished with him. 

While Paul was still trying to rescue his colleague, the hippo came back and swallowed him once again. 

“This time I’m feet first, up to my waist down his throat.”

Miraculously, the hippo spat Paul out again, and so he started trying to swim away to safety. 

Once again, the hippo came back for Paul, this time with its mouth wide open, and scored a direct hit on Paul.

“This time, his tusks went through my chest and my stomach.

“Now I’m in the hippo's mouth again, feet out of one side of his mouth, arms, head and shoulders outside the other… I figured if I held onto the tusk that was boaring through me, my flesh wouldn't tear so much when he shook me about.”

Paul held his breath when the hippo swung him under the water, and took a big breath every time he was above the water which helped him not drown.

Thankfully once again, after battling for a few minutes, the hippo spat him back out. 

That’s when another one of Paul’s colleagues, a safety kayaker, risked his life by paddling towards Paul so he could grab onto the kayak. 

Unfortunately, the colleague that Paul was initially trying to save didn’t survive.

Paul was rushed to hospital where they were able to save one of his arms, and his injured leg. 

Now, Paul works as a motivational speaker, and has written a book about his life named What’s Left of Me

Check out a snippet of his chat up top, or have a listen to the full chat in The Morning Rumble Catch Up Podcast below (or wherever you stream your poddys.)