The owners insist it was another hippo.
Woman who claims she was nearly killed by a hippo so upset she left owners with a one star review on Tripadvisor.
Natasha Vrany, 39, and her cousin, 62, Belinda Newman, had just visited Jessica’s Place, the home of the famous tame hippos Jessica (on the picture) and Richie in Hoedspruit, South Africa, when they were suddenly wild – apparently leaving Newman in his own intestines.
The owners of the popular tourist spot insist the attacker was another wild hippo, not one of their so-called “children”.
Pablo Escobar’s cocaine hippos invade Colombia
See the story
“My cousin and I were brutally attacked by Richie the hippo on November 14 at Jessicas’ house,” Vrany wrote in his scathing review from November 30.
âWe were rushed to Zaneen Hospital where several surgeries and infections had set in. No comments or lies from Shirley Joubert and Tony Joubert, owners of Jessica’s Place. I urge anyone not to endanger you or your family. These hippos are not tame and cannot attack at any time. “
“I’m disgusted that they are denying everything and I want everyone to know what to expect when visiting Jessica’s place.”
Vrany said News from Pretoria that the day after their visit with Jessica, 21, and Richie, 9 – also known as Seun – at the Jouberts, they were sitting on the lawn outside with Tonie, when they were suddenly attacked .
âTonie didn’t have a gun or rifle with him. We felt pretty safe and confident that there would be no problem,â she said.
âAll of a sudden, Richie ran out of the river. My back was facing the river, but I heard stomping on the ground. As I stood up, Richie pushed me to the ground and pulled me over. started biting both of my legs and throwing me like a rag doll. He had both legs in his mouth, biting harder every second. “
She said she tried to push him away by scratching his eyes with her fingernails, but that only made him bite harder.
“Richie started carrying me over to the river as I yelled at Tonie not to let him take me to the water. Tonie slapped Richie in the face and said, ‘Seun moenie’ (don’t).”
She said her cousin jumped onto the hippo’s back to try and get it down – and the animal turned its attention to her.
Getty / Twitter
Woman refuses to stop breastfeeding cat on Delta Airlines flight: report
See the story
“He opened his mouth slowly and I was able to fall out of his mouth. He then turned on Belinda, pushing her to the ground, and started tearing her stomach.”
Vrany said she managed to run home to ask Shirley to get a gun, but then passed out.
âWhen I woke up, Belinda was standing on top of me, holding her intestines in her hand trying to get them to stay inside,â she said.
Vrany claimed that when she handed Tonie her cell phone to call an ambulance, he kept saying “it was a scratch and everything will be fine”. She also claimed he only agreed to return the phone if they said the incident had happened outside the premises – and that it was a wild hippo that attacked.
âWhile the paramedics were looking after us, Tonie actually took Jessica the hippo through the house to put her to bed on the porch,â she said. “I was so shocked, and so were the paramedics.”
“It was the most traumatic experience of my entire life, and I still have nightmares. My pain is excruciating and I fear for my life.”
Both women were taken to hospital and underwent surgery.
Tonie Joubert, meanwhile, insists it was a wild hippopotamus that attacked – and that he saved women’s lives at the expense of his own, by grabbing a stone and hitting the animal’s head up to ‘so that he drops it and retreats into the water.
âI managed to hit him over the eye where there are soft bones, and he let go,â he said. “I saved his life by putting mine in danger.”
Seven-year-old Oklahoma boy mutilated to death by dog ââadopted three weeks ago
See the story
He knows his two hippos weren’t responsible, he said, because when he ran for help, Jessica was sleeping soundly on the porch, while Richie relaxed on his blanket.
He also vehemently denied refusing to return the phone.
According to them website, Tonie and Shirley found Jessica on March 11, 200o, just a few hours old and with the umbilical cord still attached, after a devastating flood in the area. They bottle-fed her, raising her from a 16kg calf to the 1400kg adult she is today, which allows tourists to feed her and take photos with her.
She has already been charged with an attack, but even her “victim” claimed it was unintentional.
A 2014 report claimed that Stephen Jansen van Rensburg, who worked with the hippo, ended up with “his left thumb hanging over the skin” when she bit him. But van Rensburg himself later insisted the reporting was sensational, that he put his hand in his mouth and shut it, piercing the skin.
“My thumb certainly isn’t hanging down. A little piece of skin is all that’s missing, it’s not that bad at all. It looked a lot more serious,” he said at the time. , through News24.
“There’s no way she’s hurting someone intentionally, maybe by accident, I mean look at my hand but never intentionally. I wish these people would stop sensationalizing her.”
While Jessica has received a handful of one-star reviews on Tripadvisor – usually due to poor roads, sleazy hours, or “rude” owners – the vast majority have been overwhelmingly positive.
Teenage hero who fought bear to save dogs explains what she was thinking
See the story