A Limpopo man is lucky to be alive after being attacked by a frightened hippopotamus.
Ngwako Thomas Selomu, 25, has been admitted to the intensive care unit of the Polokwane Hospital after being attacked by the animal on Sunday night.
Selomu, a father of three, was walking on the Neville Phiri farm near Letsitele outside Tzaneen when he was attacked.
He has worked at the farm for seven years.
Speaking to Sowetan from his hospital bed yesterday Selomu said he thanked God for saving his life. He is receiving treatment for injuries to his right arm, his leg and his mouth.
He said he knew about the hippopotamus that lived on the farm, but had not thought it would attack him .
"It was at about 8pm and I was walking towards my quarters when suddenly I was pushed hard from behind and fell to the ground."
Selomu said he was deep in thought and so he did not hear the hippo approaching him.
"As I fell fell down I looked behind me and checked what was pushing me. I saw it was a hippopotamus and it was mad, like a raging bull."
He said that though he was injured he managed to pull himself to his feet and run, leaving behind his trousers and shoes, which he lost in the scuffle with the hippo.
He shouted to another farm- worker driving nearby and he came to Selomu's rescue.
"I never thought I would be the victim of a hippo attack. From now on I'll be very careful when I'm walking on the farm," he said.
The doctor treating Selomu said he had sustained extensive injuries to his right arm and would need extensive surgery.
Edwin Dyason, a Polokwane state veterinarian, said Selomu was fortunate to have survived the attack because hippos often killed the humans they attacked.
He said hippo attacks were prompted by their defensive instincts and were most likely to occur at night.