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Who is Marius Els? South African Farmer killed by pet hippo Humphrey

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A farmer in South Africa was killed by his pet hippopotamus named Humphrey who he described as “like a son to me”.

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After being repeatedly bitten by the massive animal, which weighs more than a ton, farmer Marius Els was discovered dead in a river.

In 2011, Els was photographed riding on Humphrey back. “He’s like a son to me, he’s just like a human,” He said. “There’s a relationship between me and Humphrey and that’s what some people don’t understand.”

“They think you can only have a relationship with dogs, cats and domestic animals. But I have a relationship with the most dangerous animal in Africa.”

Humphrey, the six-year-old pet hippo, repeatedly mauled Els and pulled him into the Vaal River near his home.

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Mr Els, 40, previously stated that Humphrey would like playing with him and would answer to his calls.

“It’s a little bit dangerous, but I trust him with my heart that he will not harm anybody.

“I can swim with him. I go in the water. He allows me to get on his back, and I ride him like a horse. He swims with me.”

Ambulance service spokesman Jeffrey Wicks said: “Paramedics responded to the scene to find that the man had been bitten several times by the animal.

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“It had also been immersed in the river for an unknown period.”

Humphery had been adopted by Els when he was just five months old — He was rescued during a flood in the river.

The hippo weighed 2,645 pounds at the time of El’s death.

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