Tragedy as hippo tramples 16-year-old boy grazing livestock to death
Residents of Saka location in Tana River County are now living in fear after a 16-year-old boy was trampled to death by a stray hippopotamus.
Mohammed Abdi was savagely attacked by the marauding mammal while he was taking care of his father's livestock along River Tana.
According to one Musa Kone, who had accompanied the deceased in grazing the livestock, the hippo badly mutilated Abdi and only left when he laid lifeless at a nearby thicket. He rushed back and informed residents of what had transpired.
Police from Madogo Police Station immediately arrived at the scene and removed the body.
Area chief Mumina Harun says that the community has had a perennial problem of dealing with hippos, with the mammals living the river and invading their farms in search of pasture.
Harun urged Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) to enhance patrols along the sections of the river to keep off stray wild animals from invading human settlements.
“Most of the residents along River Tana survive by farming, livestock keeping, burning charcoal and selling firewood among other economic activities. The drought in the area is forcing wild animals out of the river to settlement areas,” Harun said.
“I am calling on KWS to increase their patrols especially early in the morning when the residents are going to eke out a living and in the evening when they return to their homes. This is to ensure the safety of our people,” the local administrator added.
Residents are also accusing the KWS of laxity in dealing with the menace, insisting that the body is insensitive to their plight.
Juma Dido, the area MCA, says that many residents have died at the hands of wild animals over a four-year period, but their families are yet to be compensated by KWS.
“Every time we have such an attack we have to travel to Garissa to report the incident. We cannot remove the body until KWS arrive and sometimes they take too long to arrive,” Dido said, underscoring the need for KWS to open their offices at Madogo area and post its rangers to patrol Tana River, especially in times of floods and drought when the prevalence of hippo attacks is high.
The body of Mohammed Abdi will be released to the family for burial in accordance to Islamic rites at a Madogo cemetery after the postmortem.
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