Lions terrorise Kieni residents - Daily Nation

Residents call for action as lions kill cows in Nyeri village

Saturday July 7 2018

Gatuanyaga village in Kieni

Residents of Gatuanyaga village in Kieni, Nyeri County on July 7, 2018 inspect the carcass of one of the five cows killed by lions suspected to have strayed from the neighbouring Solio Ranch. PHOTO | JOSEPH WANGUI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JOSEPH WANGUI
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Residents of Gatuanyaga village in Kieni Constituency, Nyeri County have called on the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rein in to five lions which have so far killed five cows.

The lions, suspected to have strayed from the neighbouring Solio Ranch, invaded the village and went on a killing spree until 4am when the villagers overwhelmed them.

The incident further deepens the woes of the villagers who are still grappling with rising cases of livestock theft that have seen over one hundred cows and goats stolen in a span of three months.

COMMOTION

Francis Githinji, who lost two cows valued at Sh170,000, said he was woken up by commotion in his cattle shed and alerted neighbours.

He said by the time they were able to come together to face the marauding lions, five cows had already been killed.

He accused KWS rangers in the area of laxity for failing to respond to their distress calls on time, only to arrive at 10am when the damage had already been done.

The rangers managed to catch one of the lions, but villagers said they were still in fear of more attacks from the rest of the cats which they said could still be in the village.

Ruth Wandia said they would not be able to carry on normally with their daily chores out of fear of possible attacks.

HUMAN-WILDLIFE CONFLICT

Danson Macharia said cases of human-wildlife conflict have been on the rise in the area and accused the KWS management of neighbouring animal conservancies of failure to ensure the animals do not get into the villages.

MCA Martin Matu, called on the government to take charge of the situation that is fast getting out of hand with villagers threatening to kill the animals to avert more losses.

He also called for speedy compensation for those who have lost their livestock as a result of wildlife invasions.

Mr Matu asked security agencies in the area to move in quickly and stop the growing cases of livestock theft which he said are impoverishing the residents who are mainly farmers.