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Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Hippo kills KWS warden

By Peter Kamau

A stray hippo killed a Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) warden in Laikipia over the weekend. The officer met his death after an attempt to thwart the threats of the charging hippo. Eye witnesses said that the hippo had strayed from Ngare Nyiro river.

Photo of man being chased by hippo
The dry spell that has hit the area is believed to have made the hippo to come out of the river. It took the intervention of other rangers to drive back the hippo to the river. It was difficult in the first instance to drive back the hippo after it became furious and charged at the rangers. When it was later driven, it unfortunately got stuck in a muddy swamp. A crater was called to the scene to help the hippo. To show its fury, it continued to bite at the teeth of the crater while being shoved. The crater assisted the animal and was later taken back to the river.

The body of the warden was taken to Nyahururu District Hospital mortuary.

Cases of wild animals attacking human beings in Laikipia and destroying property are rampant. Last year, a lion mauled a woman and a case of buffaloes destroying maize farms were reported. The presence of wild life conservancies and human encroachment to animal paths have strained relations in the area.KWS has started a fencing exercise to tame the animals within the conservancies. Lack of compensation has also heightened tension causing residents to bay for animal blood.

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