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KWS warns of hippo attacks as river overflows to farms

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has cautioned residents living around hippo-infested areas of Nyandarua and Laikipia counties against marauding hippos.
The residents especially those living around Lake Ol Bollosat in Nyandarua county and River Ewaso Nyiro in Laikipia County have been advised to be keen while working around their farms as the animals might be dangerous and could turn wild.
According to Nyandarua County Senior KWS Warden, Gabriel Kiio, the heavy rains that are being experienced in various parts of the region had pushed out hippos from their habitat due to water levels.
“We have recently experienced heavy downpours in the recent days, and the region being a habitat for good number of hippos especially at around Lake Ol Bollosat and therefore having so many water masses around the area hippos have moved from normal habitats to areas with smaller masses of water,” said Kioo in his Nyahururu town office today.
He however said that his team was keen to monitor the animals and preventing any attacks and destruction of property.
“There are hippos around due to a rise in water level, which has diminished pastures for the animals. We are therefore urging residents to be keen while working and walking around their farms,” he added.
River Ewaso Nyiro in Laikipia County provides a Hippo Sanctuary some six kilometers away from Nyahururu town near Manguo estate where area residents have been coexisting with the animals for quite some time now.
Several cases of hippo attacks have been reported in the area in the past with KWS blaming encroachment of riparian land by human settlements to a major challenge in containing the human-wildlife conflict in the area.
The wildlife body has been seeking for the gazettment of the area along the river and Lake Ol Bollosat as game reserve to allow fencing off to minimise cases human-wildlife conflict.

By Jesse Mwitwa

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