Hippo Attacks Woman on Birthday Safari in Africa

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Kristen Yaldor is lucky to be alive after she was attacked by a hippo

She and her husband, Ryan Yaldor, were on a canoe trip during a safari in Africa for her 37th birthday when the animal came up under the boat and threw it into the air. 

Ryan managed to get away, but the hippo grabbed Kristen and dragged her under the water. Its powerful jaws clamped down on her leg.

"I'm in the hippo's mouth, grabbed by my leg ... and I'm being thrashed under the water side to side," Kristen recalled in an interview with Inside Edition.  

But Kristen fought back, trying to wedge the animal's jaws open. "I grabbed between its mouth, I could feel that it was leathery and large ... and I just tried to pry it off my leg," she said. 

Eventually, it released her and she managed to swim to shore. 

She said she could see her muscles sticking out of her leg and tried desperately to stay calm. 

As she was taken away in an ambulance, a kind medic reminded Kristen that it was her birthday and began singing to her in an effort to soothe her.

Kristen is now home in Tampa, but she still has some way to go in her recovery. 

Hippos can measure up to 14 feet long and weigh up to 8,000 pounds, according to National Geographic. The animals can snap a canoe in half with one bite.


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