Humphrey the Hippo gouged owner Marius Els, 41, to death by repeatedly biting him in a vicious attack on Saturday night.
The farmer's mutilated body was discovered submerged in a river running through his 400 acre farm in rural South Africa.
Only earlier this year Mr Els, who was married, was pictured happily riding on his 1,200 kg pet bull hippo's back.
'Humphrey's like a son to me, he's just like a human,' he said at the time.
'There's a relationship between me and Humphrey and that's what some people don't understand. Read More