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 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Living Faith

Can we set aside our differences?: Catholics and Russian Orthodox Patriarch unite for the first time in 1,000 years Watch

Image of Patriarch Kirill will meet Pope Francis on this historic day (AP).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Vatican recently announced the historic meeting between Pope Francis and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The meeting is set for Friday and will be the first time the heads of the Catholic and Russian ... continue reading


Oldest copy of Old Testament recognized as world treasure Watch

Image of The oldest surviving copy of the Hebrew Bible has been officially recognized.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The oldest surviving copy of the Old Testament was officially recognized as a world treasure by the United Nations Educations, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Aleppo Codex is the oldest surviving copy of the Hebrew ... continue reading


More than a thousand 'super confessors' released by Pope Francis to tackle 'reserved sins' Watch

Image of One of the Pope's

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Those who commit "reserved sins," transgressions that are deemed especially egregious by the Catholic Church, will have another chance this Jubilee Year. Those who have committed such sins previously only pardonable by the Pope may now seek out the 1,142 ... continue reading


'What could happen if every church would rise up in prayer': Christians join before U.S. Supreme Court to call for prayer Watch

Image of Texas Loves Life stands to protect the unborn (bound4life).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Christians stand together outside the U.S. Supreme Court to call other believers to pray the pro-life law passes. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - While the Supreme Court considers a Texas pro-life law, Texas Loves Life calls for Christians to pray for the fates of ... continue reading


If 'Jubilee doesn't arrive to the pockets, it's not a true Jubilee,' Pope Francis says Watch

Image of In his continued catechesis on mercy as seen in Scripture, the Pope noted how the Jubilee year is an

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

For Pope Francis, mercy is not just spiritual, but is something that ought to be expressed in concrete acts of service and in sharing one's goods with the poor, which was a key tradition during Jubilee years throughout Scripture. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - ... continue reading


'You can't have Jesus': NASA accused of censoring use of Christ's name Watch

Image of NASA announces the use of Jesus' name in e-communications is a violation of the First Amendment (SacredHeart).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Members of the Praise and Worship Club, composed of NASA employees, were shocked to receive a notice from NASA ordering they cease to include Jesus' name in their religious e-mails. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The use of Jesus' name came up in May 2015, when ... continue reading


MAKE YOURSELF COUNT! Complete this quick Ash Wednesday survey

Image of Take the Ash Wednesday survey so we can better serve your needs.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online is conducting a global survey on Ash Wednesday practices. Each reader is asked to participate once. The survey will take less than a minute to complete. The results of the survey will help Catholic Online determine how best to serve your needs in the ... continue reading


Santa Muerte gains popularity throughout Mexico - Will Pope Francis react during his visit? Watch

Image of Santa Muerte's popularity has spread throughout South America (Pinterest).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Despite the Catholic Church openly saying Santa Muerte is not recognized as a saint, the death saint continues to spread in popularity among Mexican citizens. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Santa Muerte is an absurdity," Cardinal Norberto Rivera, Mexico's ... continue reading


Bible-themed luxury resort to be built in San Diego? Watch

Image of Televangelist seeks to build Bible-themed resort (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Televangelist Morris Cerullo has been attempting to build a Bible-themed luxury resort for the past few years - and now there is only one more hurdle to jump. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - After purchasing a foreclosed Mission Valley hotel, Cerullo's plans for ... continue reading


What the Catholic Church should do about this new serious problem among the young Watch

Image of Deacon Flanigan confirmed that the recent surge in overdoses among young whites have been linked to controversial medical guidelines that called for a more aggressive approach to treating both acute and chronic pain.

By Joan Frawley Desmond, National Catholic Register

When recent headlines marked a spike in drug overdoses for white, middle-class Americans, the news saddened but did not surprise Deacon Timothy Flanigan, an HIV specialist at Brown University medical school in Providence, R.I. Providence, R.I. (National ... 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, Isaiah 58:1-9
1 Shout for all you are worth, do not hold back, raise your voice like a ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 18-19
3 For I am well aware of my offences, my sin is constantly in ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:14-15
14 Then John's disciples came to him and said, 'Why is it that we and the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 12th, 2016 Image

St. Buonfiglio Monaldo
February 12: He was one of seven Florentines who had joined ... Read More