Mr. Els meant well, but wild animals are meant to be wild. Currently six years old, the hippo lives in a specially-built dam on the farm. Photo: Getty Images. This website is dedicated to the life and wellbeing of a very special creature named Jessica. Els said Humphrey, now 6 years old, became "like a son" to him. It's a shame this happened. The 40-year-old farmer raised Humphrey from the age of five months, after the young hippo was stranded during a flood. Photos taken not long before he was killed show Els riding the hippo through the river, as if he is on a mechanical bull. Federal immigration officials lashed out at Oregon authorities and local sanctuary laws after a man in the U.S. illegally was set free after serving 60 days for raping a dog to death. Els had raised the hippo himself, since the time it was five months old. hippo as a pet on his farm, was killed after Humphrey reportedly dragged him into a river after mauling him. Daniel Harold Rolling, also known as the Gainesville Ripper, murdered five University of Florida students in the summer of 1990. The hippo attack happened 17 years ago, but this week Templer recounted the horrifying tale to the Guardian. At six years old, Humphrey was ready for a mate. Templer was a 27-year-old river guide who had led tours down the Zambezi in Zimbabwe many times and had weathered several of what he considered “half-hearted attacks” by a certain territorial male hippo. Els used to ride on Humphrey's back, feed him by hand, and even brush his teeth. The incident happened Saturday at the Vaal River near Mr. Els’ farm in the Free State province in central South Africa. What happened to Humphrey the hippo? But I did find this, the curious case of Marius Els, a South African farmer who was savagely killed by his pet hippo in 2011. Marius Els, 40, an army major, was bitten to death by the 1.2 tonne hippo he christened Humphrey and tried to domesticate on a farm in Free State province. The mistake Mr. Els made, was not releasing Humphrey back into the wild when he was old enough to look after himself. The killings terrified residents of the otherwise sleepy Southern college town and became front-page news for days on end. Humphrey the hippo had been raised 'like a son' by farmer Marius Els since he was five months old. Els's savaged body was found submerged in the river where, years earlier, the hippo had been rescued from a flood. (Watch a video below of Els showing off his pet hippo.) A HIPPOPOTAMUS named Humphrey has killed a South African man who kept him for a pet. Maurice Els said Humphrey the hippo was "like a son" to him. Pet hippo named Humphrey mauls owner to death Back to video. He called it Humphrey. Jessica is a 18-year old female Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) who lives near Hoedspruit - South Africa. Mr. Els rescued the hippo, who probably wouldn't have survived on his own.