A 63-year old woman was on Monday trampled to death by elephants while collecting firewood within Rumuruti Forest in Laikipia County.
Mary Rembesa Ledonyo, was reportedly attacked by a herd of elephants at 10am while in the company of five fellow villagers who managed to escape.
Nyahururu Sub county Police Commandant Geoffrey Mayek confirmed the incident and said that the body of the deceased is at Nyahururu County Referral Hospital Mortuary.
“The lady was fatally injured as she tried to escape from the rowdy elephants,” added Mayek.
Charity Wanjiku, a resident of Sironi village, said that the deceased was a widow, who earned a living through selling firewood, which she acquired illegally from the forest.
“These elephants are not the sizes we are used to seeing, we are used to big elephants these ones could not be seen from a distance,” she said.
The residents termed the incident as a misfortune adding that a fence, which was set up by the national government has been a vital asset.
“We are grateful to the government for setting up the fence which has separated us from encountering elephants and even now we can sleep in peace,” noted David Kipkemoi.
Chairman Community Forest Association David Waithaka rebuked the irresponsible actions of residents accessing the forest without permission from the Government.
He advised the residents to look for alternative jobs such as opening shops and farming rather than fetching firewood to sell.
One of the survivors said that the casualty failed to run faster owing to her advanced age and was subsequently surrounded by elephants, which attacked her and were later driven away by a Kenya Wildlife Services lorry.
by Walyaula Andrew/Njoki Ndung’u