Hippo Attack!!!

My wife Wendy works for an Adventure Travel company, so she travels to the far corners of the Earth to see exotic animals and wildlife such as the Churchill Polar Bears. In June/2007, she and a co-worker Jacquie had a really close-up wildlife encounter while on an African Safari. Here are the Emails they sent out ... along with an new tongue-n-cheek picture for their company catalog!
hippo attack
Adventure Travelers Wendy & Jacquie disembark from canoe transfer in
Arusha region on Tanzania
Photoillustration by Mat Unger
Despite being plant eating herbivores, hippos are actually quite dangerous with their huge teeth & territorial behavior. Hippo attacks kill more humans in Africa than other animals. Fortunately this story didn't have an unpleasant ending ... so don't get close to 'em!
Jacquie: Today we arrived in Arusha and were picked up by our local guides to canoe in Arusha National Park. It was green and lush we loved it! Our guides were trying to freak us out and kept warning of hippos to make us scared, we laughed and said if they were not scared nor were we! As soon as that phrase left my mouth the back of my canoe rose out of the water and flipped on to Wendy's canoe we both fell in the water with our guides (who could barely swim) everything including our passport and shoes went flying and we both ended up standing on the hippo. The guide shouted at us to swim to shore, I did not need to be told twice and it took me about 10 minutes to swim to shore, Wendy would not let go of her money so was 5 minutes behind me dragging her backpack, mine was underwater and was staying there. It took the guides another 20 minutes to swim in; I thought we were going to have to rescue them. Meanwhile all we could hear were the hippos snorting. We got the guides out of the water, one had concussion, we had no shoes and were trying to get to our canoe without walking into any other wildlife or acacia thorns. One canoe was out of service as it had a chunk missing where the hippo teeth went through. So we were down to one canoe, one guide with concussion, and the other guide trying to find my backpack/paddles shoes etc. We could not all fit in one canoe so sat the injured guide in the canoe while Wendy and I paddled back through the hippo infested waters - you would be shocked how quickly we paddled out of there!

To finish the story of we got one guide back and then drove back to get the other one. The only casualty was one of Wendy's shoes. This is a true story and we have the hippo bite mark to prove it!!!!

Wendy: Had a big adventure today. While canoeing, a hippo came up under the canoe and bit a hole in it and dumped us. I wound up stepping on the hippo. No one got bitten, we just got dumped in. Unfortunately, the camera went in (with my pictures of the owl and Phython). I am drying it out and hope it will work once it dries. We weren't scared after the first 20 seconds when it was clear the hippo wasn't following us. At first we lost passports, but the current eventually brought it to the side. The only thing lost from the hippo attack was one of my shoes.