What started off as a sweet story of a South African man rescuing  a 5 month old baby Hippo from a river, ended in tragedy in the very same river.

A 40-year-old farmer in South Africa was killed by his beloved pet hippo, Humphrey, when the animal dragged the farmer into a river and mauled him to death.

Marius Els, an Army major, had raised the 2,600 pound animal and considered Humphrey a part of his family, according to the U.K.’s Guardian.

Others had warned Els that hippos were dangerous and warned him against keeping Humphrey, but he ignored their warnings and was known ride around on the 5-year-old hippopotamus’s back, according to the Guardian.

“Humphrey’s like a son to me, he’s just like a human,” The Guardian reported Els saying earlier this year. “There’s a relationship between me and Humphrey, and that’s what some people don’t understand.”

Yes, it is a little hard to understand forming a bond with an animal that weighs over a ton and has absolutely no cute or cuddly features.

“They think you can only have a relationship with dogs, cats and domestic animals,” Els said at the time. “But I have a relationship with the most dangerous animal in Africa.”

Looks like he got most dangerous part right, but it also looks like he spoke too soon on that whole friendship thing. According to the San Diego Zoo, Hippo's are one of the most aggressive mammals and kill more people each year  than lions, leapords, elephants, buffalo and rino's combined !