KWS rangers shoot stray elephant dead in Samburu

Thursday January 12 2017

The stray elephant that was killed by Kenya

The stray elephant that was killed by Kenya Wildlife Service rangers in Samburu East on January 10, 2016 after it killed an elderly man. PHOTO | GODFREY OUNDOH | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

By GODFREY OUNDOH
More by this Author

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers on Thursday shot dead a stray elephant minutes after it had killed a man in Kirimon, Samburu East.

The rangers, with the help of residents, engaged the jumbo before they cornered it and shot it dead.

The elderly man was heading home from a nearby market when he encountered the elephant, which trampled him, killing him instantly.

The rangers drove two other stray elephants back into the Kirimon Forest, a migration corridor for elephants in the area.

The rangers had a difficult time controlling a huge crowd that had arrived with weapons ready to feast on the elephant meat.

Locals now want the KWS to establish a camp in the area to restrain the animals and curb the attacks.

“Elephants, hyenas and zebras are now getting into manyattas where people live and we are asking the wildlife authorities to get out of Maralal and Samburu if they are not ready to control the animals,” said resident John Letipila.

RANGER 'LAXITY'

The incident comes hardly a day after residents vowed to kill rogue elephants following rising cases of human-wildlife conflict in the area.

Led by Samburu Woman Representative Maison Leshoomo, the residents had said they will be forced to protect themselves after simultaneous attacks by the animals that have left one person dead and a 16-year-old girl seriously injured over the weekend.

The locals complained of laxity by local KWS officers in discharging their duties and responding to emergencies even after several complains were launched regarding rogue wildlife.

Residents are angered about a Monday evening attack in the area in which a 45-year-old man was attacked and killed by elephants.

The elephant also left a 16-year-old girl with serious injuries.

The teenager suffered serious abdominal injuries after the elephant pieced her with its tusk and also broke her ribs. She was receiving treatment at Kijabe Mission Hospital.

Ms Leshoomo said the attacks have increased as the animals are finding their way into people’s homes.