A hippopotamus has killed three adults and critically injured a child at a border-crossing between Zimbabwe and South Africa according to an emergency response team.

Hippo on the look out

Hippo on the look out Image by Chris Eason / CC BY 2.0

The incident happened on Wednesday night and the emergency team were alerted to it after locals heard the child’s cries for help on Thursday morning. The child was rushed to hospital and is in stable condition. When the team arrived at the scene of the accident they reported that all three adults had “sustained fatal injuries” according to website ER24.

The circumstances and reason for the attack are unknown, but it’s presumed that the mature hippopotamus came up from the nearby Limpopo River. Mature males are known to actively protect their territory, often along the banks of rivers. Hippos kill more humans in Africa than any other animal and are known to be extremely aggressive.