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Teen-Ager Attacked by Hippopotamus

August 1, 2001

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) _ A hippopotamus reportedly attacked an 18-year-old woman after she entered its cage and plunged into its pool at a zoo in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.

The woman, identified only as Yekaterina, ignored warning signs and dove into the pool with a female hippopotamus and its 6-year-old offspring, local newspapers reported Wednesday.

The hippo picked up the woman with its mouth and shook her by the waist before tossing her into the air, the papers said. Three zoo visitors then rescued the woman, the daily newspaper Fakty said.

The woman was hospitalized in serious condition with broken bones and a concussion.

Hippos are native to Africa. In the wild, they have attacked people on land and in the water, sometimes breaking boats with their powerful jaws.

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