LUCKY TO BE ALIVE


The American woman who was attacked by a hippo in Vic Falls is now in South Africa where she remains in an intensive care.

Kristen Yaldor and her husband, Ryan took a canoe trip near Victoria Falls to celebrate Kristen's 37th birthday. They had two tour guides and as they floated down the Zambezi River.
a hippo protecting its young swam under the couple's canoe and threw it into the air. Ryan was able to swim to a nearby island, but the animal dragged Kristen under the water, its jaws snapping down on her leg and breaking her femur.

Kristen was able to escape, but it would be another hour before a medical helicopter arrived, Ryan said, and 13 more before she arrived at a hospital in South Africa. She remains in intensive care.

Martine Yaldor said her daughter-in-law was lucky the animal's huge incisors missed her thigh, instead clamping her leg between its flatter grinding teeth.

"If one of those (incisor) teeth hit her femoral artery, we would probably be planning a funeral today," Martine said. "By all accounts, she was incredibly lucky."

Martine, a South Africa native, told Tampa Bay Times :"We all know there are always risks involved when you interact with wildlife," Martine said. "But the facts here are so distorted and misstated. They actually did not do anything frivolous at all."

Ryan said the couple was never warned about the calf or unsafe conditions.

"We had no idea there was a baby," Ryan wrote Monday. "We were just told, 'Hippos ahead on the right, let's move to the left.'"

Ryan said Kristen was thrown forward, right toward the angry animal. He also said the guide's radio and cell phone didn't work, which delayed care.

Martine criticised the tour company for not warning participants of the risks or cancelling tours during unsafe conditions when animals might be more volatile, such as mating season.

"This is a very unfortunate incident that can happen in the wild with animals when we're on their territory," Martine said. "But the people that provided this opportunity weren't properly prepared...,” Martine said. “They need to have the courage of convictions to say, 'Sorry, it's not safe today.'"

0 comments: