An angry hippo allegedly tossed a woman around the petting farm in South Africa, ripping her cousin’s stomach.

Natasha Vrany, 39, from Alberton, alleged she and her cousin Belinda Newman, 62, were attacked by a hippo while visiting Jessica’s Place in Hoedspruit, Limpopo, on November 14.

The world-famous nature reserve, run by Tonie and Shirley Joubert, is home to two hippos – Jessica, 21, and nine-year-old Richie, who Ms Vrany alleges attacked her and her cousin.

According to reserve website, the two hippos were saved by their parents when they were very young. They have been living in the home ‘like kids’ ever since. Visitors can feed Jessica and give her backrubs.

Ms Vrany told Independent Online (IOL) that she and her cousin were sitting on the Jouberts’ lawn when Richie ran out of a nearby river and attacked them, claiming he knocked her to the ground and ‘ripped’ Ms Newman’s stomach to ‘pieces’.

Richie was not responsible for attacking the women. However, Mr Joubert claims Richie wasn’t at fault. He claimed that Richie had attacked the wild hippo. There are wild hippos living in the nearby Blyde River.

Natasha Vrany (pictured petting one of the hippos), 39, from Alberton, alleged she and her cousin Belinda Newman, 62, were attacked by hippo Richie while visiting Jessica's Place in Hoedspruit, Limpopo, on November 14

Natasha Vrany (39) from Alberton (pictured petting one of these hippos), alleged that her cousin Belinda Newman (62) was also attacked by the hippo Richie during a visit to Jessica’s Place in Hoedspruit. Limpopo on November 14.

Joubert said that the incident happened on his premises, and that he was putting his own life in danger to protect the women from wild animals.

Ms. Vrany stated that she had undergone two surgeries since the attack. Ms. Newman has been a friend of the Jouberts for over 20 years and has also experienced surgery.

Jessica’s Place was given a One-Star TripAdvisor Review by Jessica Vrany after the incident. In it, she described what had happened and encouraged others not to visit the nature reserve.

Richie, according to Ms Vrany, charged into the river, pushing her to the floor, and she claimed that Richie tried to force her fingers in his eye.

She stated that Richie shoved me to the ground, and then proceeded with his vicious bite to my legs. He then tossed me about like a rag doll. He was holding both his legs and biting more each second.

Ms Vrany said Richie took her toward the river while she screamed and cried for help. Meanwhile, Mr Joubert, who didn’t have any weapon, was beating the animal.

According to her, her cousin leapt on the hippo’s shoulder in order to force him to release her. But she also claimed that Ms. Newman was beaten by the animal after letting go.

She said, “He turned on Belinda and pushed her to the floor, then began ripping at her stomach.”

However, even though she sustained injuries, she said that she ran into the house to request Ms Joubert bring her a rifle. But she fell asleep when she got to the kitchen.

Ms. Vrany said that Ms. Newman held Ms. Vrany’s intestines in one hand, trying to convince her to remain inside when Ms. Vrany awoke.

She claimed that Jessica, the famous hippo, arrived from the nature reserve to put her to sleep on the veranda while they waited for an ambulance.

Ms. Vrany stated that after the attack, she felt like she was going mad. Her cousin and she were both rushed to hospital where they were treated.

Elle added that it was “the most traumatizing experience in my life” and she still has nightmares from the event.  

However, Joubert claims that the incident happened outside of his home and that he struck Ms Vrany with a large rock.

He explained that he had hit him just above his eye. She was a soft-boned person and she fell to the ground. This saved her life but put my life at risk.

Joubert stated that the wild animal went back in the water immediately after it was attacked, but he claims that he fled to his home to receive help.

Richie, however, was at the residence when Richie arrived. He said that Jessica had already been sleeping on the veranda. He claimed that his pets were innocent of the accident.

He also said that wild hippos can be found in this area as well as further upstream along the Blyde river.

MailOnline reached out to Jessica’s Place, Ms Vrany and for more information. 

After devastating flooding left Jessica orphaned, Ms Joubert saved her as a baby on March 20, 2000.

Jessica was taken home by park ranger Mr Joubert to be raised by his wife. 

Jessica weighs over 1500 kg and lives on the nature reserve. She is permitted to enter the kitchen of the couple as Jessica lives with them like a ‘daughter.

Richie, an infant, disappeared in 2012 after heavy flooding and flash floods. Mr Joubert was able to locate his mother and took Richie to the nature reserve.

Jessica was saved by her rescuers. Jessica is now a world star, appearing on BBC News, Mr. Bones, a South African movie, and Animal Planet.

She also made a guest appearance in first season of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! Australia in 2015, helping Chrissie Swan and Maureen McCormick win a box of chocolate.