We don’t normally report on stories from Taiwan, but when a two-metre long hippopotamus jumps out of a moving truck, collides with a parked car and lays in the road with its teeth knocked out and tears flowing from its eyes, we make an exception.
This wacky and weepy tale no doubt broke a few animal-lovers’ hearts over Christmas weekend, after the hippo, named “A Ho” (which is the only funny bit of this story), lay motionless in the road for several hours.
The hippo broke its teeth and a leg after throwing itself through a relatively small window of a truck that was transporting it from Miaolo country to a farm in Yuanil, central Taiwan.
The owner of the parked car A Ho landed on reportedly said he “thought it was a dinosaur”.
The owner of A Ho, who casually arrived on the scene later, explained that the animal had been imported as a gift for Taichung county, but the government had “re-gifted” the creature (jeez, it’s not a scarf!) to the owner’s farm.
The window A Ho jumped from
According to reports, A Ho was a star attraction there, and had even appeared in a Taiwanese soap opera. The hippo was, however, being relocated to Yuanli while some maintenance work was carried out on the farm.
After several hours weeping in the road, A Ho was finally tranquillised, hoisted onto a big hammock thing reminiscent of Free Willy, and finally transported back home.
Take a look at the heartwrenching video:
The hippopotamus is not a state-protected animal in Taiwan, but authorities claim the owner could face a fine under animal protection laws.
See, that was worth straying out of Hong Kong for, wasn’t it?
UPDATE: Taichung City Bureau of Agriculture have announced this morning (Dec. 29) that A Ho has died, possibly because of her injuries or possibly because of cold temperatures, reports Apple Daily.
Photos: Apple Daily