That time I was almost eaten by a Hippo in Thailand…
When I’m traveling around that world, I do many things that would be seen as careless, so that I could get ‘the shot’. In February 2016, I found myself in Chiang Mai, Thailand, at the local Chiang Mai Zoo. While there will be more on the overall zoo at a later time, for now, it’s all about the Hippos that live at the Chiang Mai Zoo.
When we arrived at the zoo, the first thing we saw was a big dirty pool of water filled with some giant hippopotamuses. Off to the side, there was this little self-service stand where you could put 25 bhat (70 cents) into a change jar, and then they had this bunched up grass you could feed to the hippos. The first thing my jet-lagged self-thought was that that would be an awesome opportunity to pet the hippos and get an awesome Instagram picture.
Little did I know, or better, little did I think, that hippos can be aggressive towards humans and attack when there is no apparent provocation. Not only that but they are considered one of the most dangerous animals in Africa. So, with that little lesson on hippos, we’re just going to go with that since I was in Thailand, the Thai hippos are a lot safer than the African hippos…
I bought a bunch of bushels of grass and fed the herd of hippos and petted them on the head. For those of you wondering, their whiskers feel rubbery and slimy.
When I was feeding them and petting them, little did I think that one might mistake my hand as food. One hippo tried to jump a little too close to my hand for comfort, and that was when my Instagram mission came to an end. I was happy with the result of my pictures, and as I look back at them, I can’t believe that I let my hand go inches from their mouth, and I could have lost my hand in the blink of an eye. Regardless, the pictures were without a doubt worth the risk.
Coming from the United States, it is always shocking to see the relaxed approach to patron safety in other parts of the world. There is little to no staff or supervision, and if you wanted to, you could have jumped in and gone for a quick dip with the hippos. FYI, that is something that I don’t recommend, as you would most likely be eaten and that would not be good… You would think that people would be responsible, but when you’re jetlagged, you never really know what you’ll decide to do.
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I will do a full write-up on the Chiang Mai Zoo in the future. This is one of my favorite travel experiences from the past year. Have you been to any zoos around the world? Share your experiences in the comments below.
My name is Scott and i’m a Curious Traveler, Costco Enthusiast, Intermediate Blogger, Creative, and most of all an Adventure Seeker. I’m here to share with you all of my exciting adventures as I travel the world to visit new destinations, meet new people, and hopefully visit a Costco or two along the way.