Meet the man who was swallowed by hippo and survived

A man who survived being swallowed three times by a hippo in the course of a sustained attack has opened up about the experience.

Paul Templer was working as a tour guide near the near Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe when he ended up in the hippos jaws while trying to save a friend whose canoe had been capsized next to one of the animals.

Speaking to LADbible, Paul said: "I was out with three fellow guides and some tourists when we came across a group of hippos in the water.

"Suddenly I heard a huge splash and a crashing sound, and I saw that a hippo had hit one of the other canoes. The boat flipped out of the water and into the hippo's back - in doing so, my colleague was thrown into the water.

"I was paddling over to my colleague," he added. "When I saw the hippo coming towards me under water - it was like a submarine torpedo as it made its way towards my canoe.

"Suddenly, everything went dark and quiet and it took a few seconds for me to realise what had happened.

"From the waist up I felt like I wasn't really wet, but I wasn't really dry. I could feel a sort of pressure on my lower back and with one of my arms I could feel around, and I felt bristles."

He was inside the hippo.

"Immediately what went through my mind was, 'At least I know I'm not in a crocodile,' and then my next thought was, 'I need to get out.'" he explained.

After being spat out once and desperately trying swim away, the hippo came back and this time swallowed Mr Templer feet first, but miraculously, it spat him out again.

After 'charging' at him with once again the huge animal grabbed Mr Templer by the torso for a final time before leaving the scene, leaving Mr Templer with numerous wounds and one missing arm.

Only the use of some clingfilm food wrapping that happened to be nearby helped stop his lung from collapsing, surgeons at a local hospital were then able to save his other limbs and repair his wounds.

Unfortunately his colleague and fellow guide was less fortunate and lost his life.

Mr Templer now works as a motivational speaker, using his past to inspire and encourage people.

For a full interview with Paul Templer see the video below: