A hippo was on Sunday speared to death by irate villagers of Shompole in Kajiado West after it killed a man and injured another at a water point.
According to the area MCA Isaac Kiresian, the two men were fishing at the Ewuaso Nyiro River when the hippo attacked them.
Kiresian said that six people have died in the area in a period of one year as cases of human/wildlife conflict have been on the rife in the area owing to the current drought.
“The southern part of the Ewuaso Nyiro River has dried up causing hippopotamuses to move to the northern part in search of water which is also used by most households in the area, thus the rising cases of human versus wildlife conflict. I want to urge KWS to relocate the hippopotamuses to another area for the people’s safety,” said Kiresian.
Kiserian further called on members of the public to be vigilant to avoid such incidents.
“KWS should also provide rangers to man all the water sources in the area to avoid such incidences. Mathenge bushes which has invaded the area has made it difficult for the residents to easily spot the hippos while they are herding,” said Kiresian.
Kenya Wildlife Service Senior warden in Kajiado Daniel Kipkosgey says that KWS is assessing the circumstances regarding the death of the victim and added the agency is currently working with the family on burial plans.
“The multisectoral committee will determine whether the hippos will be relocated to another area though it is the last option given that it is costly and will disturb the ecosystem of that area,” said Kipkosgey.
He further noted that KWS is currently undertaking aerial surveys of the area to warn people in advance regarding where the wild animals are located.
In a related incident, a middle-aged man from Mosiro ward, Kajiado West Sub County was last Friday critically injured after he was attacked by an elephant in the area and is currently fighting for his life at the Narok Referral Hospital.
By Diana Meneto and Edith Temba