Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/6/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Hippos are not the friendly, docile creatures found in storybooks

It began as an ordinary day for Paul Templer at his job as a river guide Zambezi near Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. The owner of a river tour business, the at the time 27-year-old Templer had been taking people on trips along the stretch of the Zambezi for many years. That would all change in a deadly encounter with a hippopotamus where he would find himself upside down and head first up to his waist in the hippo's throat.

Hippos are not the docile, friendly creatures you find in storybooks and cartons. Hippos continue to kill around 300 people a year, making them the third biggest killer of humans after mosquitoes and box jellyfish, despite only living in certain parts of Africa.

Hippos are not the docile, friendly creatures you find in storybooks and cartons. Hippos continue to kill around 300 people a year, making them the third biggest killer of humans after mosquitoes and box jellyfish, despite only living in certain parts of Africa.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/6/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Hippo attack, rier guide, brush with death, inspiration, survival


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic online) - Hippos are not the docile, friendly creatures you find in storybooks and cartons. Hippos continue to kill around 300 people a year, making them the third biggest killer of humans after mosquitoes and box jellyfish, despite only living in certain parts of Africa.

Their gaping mouths span four feet and are lined with fearsome tusks. They're especially dangerous in the water, where the male bull hippos can become territorial.

Templer was well aware of the danger the creatures pose and knew to give them a wide berth. On the day of the attack he was accompanied by three apprentice guides - Mike, Ben and Evans, all in separate kayaks. All four were approaching the end of the tour when they came across a pod of around a dozen hippos wallowing quietly in the shallows.

Templer steered the group away from the danger before pausing a moment for Evans, who had been lagging slightly behind, to catch up. "I turned just in time to see Evans flying through the air before he splashed into the river." Templer immediately went back to help Evans who reached out his hand. Then all hell broke lose.

"My world went dark and strangely quiet, a few very long seconds ticked by as I tried to figure out what was going on.

"From my waist up I was not dry but I wasn't wet either not like my legs were I was head first down my waist down a hippo's throat. I pushed and I pulled and I wiggled about all to no avail.

"Then the monster loosened its grip long enough for me to escape. Bursting to the surface I came face to face with Evans.

"I remember looking up and I could see the different hues of green and yellow I watched my blood mingle with the water. I wondered what would happen first, if I'd bleed to death or if I'd drown."

One of the other apprentice guides, Mike, risked his own life to paddle back and help. Templer was able to grab hold of his Kayak and was hauled to the shore. But he was far from out of danger.

"I made the mistake of taking a look at myself," he continues. "My one arm from the elbow up had been crushed to a pulp and from the elbow down had been stripped of its flesh.

'Then a strange thing happened; I went incredibly calm and all the pain went away and I knew that it was my moment of choice. I knew right there and then I could shut my eyes I could drift off, I could call it a day or I could fight my way through this and I could stick around."

Templer had to endure a grueling eight hour journey to the nearest hospital in the city of Bulawayo. His left arm had to be amputated above the elbow, but the surgeons had managed to save his injured leg.

Just two years after the attack, he was back on the Zambeizi using a specially adapted kayak paddle to lead a three-month long Expedition.

Today, he is based in the U.S. where he runs his own speaking and coaching business and is married with three young children.

"What's Left of Me" was published late last year and is available though Amazon and digitally through the iTunes book store.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Living Faith

'If God can weep, then I too can weep': Pope Francis speaks of loneliness and suffering Watch

Image of Pope Francis reminds us God comforts us.

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

During a prayer vigil on Thursday for all those in need of consolation, Pope Francis stressed that though we cry out in moments of difficulty, we are never alone. Vatican City, Rome (Catholic Online) - His words of reassurance came after hearing various testimonies of ... continue reading


'Forgiveness is in our blood': Christian persecution can't steal our faith (WARNING: DISTURBING CONTENT) Watch

Image of Christians in Syria speak out about persecution.

By Matt Hadro (CNA/EWTN News)

In a Christian neighborhood inside war-torn Syria, a young boy was waiting to be discharged from a hospital after undergoing surgery. Suddenly the building shook from a bombing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - His mother, who was with him, ran out of the hospital ... continue reading


Historical Jubilee documents on display! Watch

Image of An exhibition of the Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi will be displaying pieces normally hidden safely away (Wikimedia Commons).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

For the Jubilee of Mercy, which will close November 20 this year, the Vatican Library is set to release delicate items for display. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Catholic News Agency, the Jubilee Year of Mercy will be honored with a display of ... continue reading


The Happy Priest Reflects on the Ascension

Image of

By Fr. James Farfaglia

Today, we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord into Heaven.  The risen and glorified Jesus physically returns to the Father.  We await with joyful expectation his return in glory.  Where he has gone, we hope to follow.  There is a Heaven and we need ... continue reading


Fr. Tom still missing - Bishop holds tight to faith Watch

Image of Fr. Tom still missing but Bishop Paul Hinder believes he will be saved (Shutterstock).

By (CNA/EWTN News)

Two months after being kidnapped in Yemen, Salesian priest Tom Uzhunnalil remains missing, although a bishop involved in his case remains hopeful about his timely release. Aden, Yemen (CNA/EWTN News) - "The last words, which are quite reassuring, I received indirectly ... continue reading


Making a Difference: The miracle of life Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

I experienced a miracle! A few days ago, I held in my arms my first grandbaby - newly born Faith Annmarie. Thank God she's healthy and perfectly formed. And as I was looking at her, I reflected how wonderfully she is made - arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, toes, eyes, ... continue reading


'We have done little for women...': Pope Francis dedicates May prayer video to the dignity of women Watch

Image of Pope Francis asks the world to respect women (Pinterest).

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

In his May prayer video Pope Francis issued a global petition that women in all countries would be respected and valued, asking rhetorically if the mere recognition of their role is enough, or if more can be done. Vatican City, Rome (CNA/EWTN News) - "The contribution ... continue reading


Religious freedoms endangered around the world Watch

Image of Religious freedoms started their rapid decline in 2015 (Pinterest).

By Matt Hadro (CNA/EWTN News)

The right to exercise religion came under sustained assault around the world in 2015, according to a new report from a bipartisan United States commission, affecting Christians, Muslims, Jews, among others. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "By any measure, religious ... continue reading


HAPPENING NOW: Incredible 90-hour Bible Reading Marathon outside U.S. Capitol Watch

Image of The 90-hour Bible Reading Marathon started May 1, 2016 (Faith & Action).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The 27th annual 90-hour Bible Reading Marathon at the U.S. Capitol began Sunday evening and will continue through May fifth. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The event was launched with a hymn and prayer, then Reverend Rob Schenck, the president of the National ... continue reading


Catholic Bishop abducted, attacked and assaulted before release Watch

Image of Bishop Prasad Gallela was abducted on his way home from mass (CNS).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Catholic bishop Prasad Gallela was on his way home from Mass on April 25, when two vehicles pulled up to him. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Bishop Gallela concluded Mass at Karunagiri Shrine in southern India then headed home.When the vehicles stopped, ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 18:9-18
9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision, 'Be fearless; speak out ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 47:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
2 For Yahweh, the Most High, is glorious, the great king over all the ... Read More

Gospel, John 16:20-23
20 'In all truth I tell you, you will be weeping and wailing while the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 6th, 2016 Image

Bl. Edward Jones
May 6: Blessed Edward Jones and Anthony Middleton, ... Read More