[Fwd: Hippo attack photos]

NELSPRUIT - The head of veterinary wildlife services of SANParks
stared into the jaws of death "last month" when a hippo he thought was
sound asleep, charged him.

Dr Markus Hofmeyr told a newspaper that he thought "it was tickets"
when the darted animal woke up. He was a member of a research team
that was testing a new anaesthetic for hippo in the Kruger National
Park. Colleague Dr Peter Buss, senior manager of the veterinary unit
in the park, took spectacular photos of the encounter with this
mammal, which is one of the most dangerous herbivores in Africa.

The incident took place just upstream of the Crocodile Bridge Camp, in
the Crocodile River. Hofmeyr, Buss and Dr Nico de Bruyn of the mammal
research institute of the University of Pretoria, were researching a
novel combination of drugs that can be administered by a dart to
anaesthetise hippo.

The hippo made another surge for the pair before both escaped unhurt.

A gamekeeper shot the hippo dead. Dr Hofmeyr said: "We think the hippo
was woken by water up its nose. We'll muzzle these animals in future."



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