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Stray Elephant Kills A Third Masimba Person In Three Years On Friday

Pastor Simon Parsaloi addresses mourners after Friday night elephant attack that claimed one life.

Straying elephant in Masimba area of Kajiado County has claimed another life after four of them raided a homestead on Friday night.

The incident took place near Kiboko town after four elephants had strayed into a homestead in search of water.

According to the area chief, Daniel Kanchori, the head of the family was yet to arrive home at around 10 pm when his sons started chasing the elephants away.

“As they started beating tins and drums to scare the four elephants from the homestead, his two sons drove the beasts, unknowingly in the direction their father was coming from,” said Chief Kanchori.

Kanchori said the sound of tins irritates the elephants, and they must have sped off with anger only for one of them to clash with the old man.

“Only one of them decided to chase the old man for close to 150 metres before trampling on him, and killing him instantly,” he said on the phone on Saturday.

The Kenya Wildlife Service head of problem animal unit, Vincent Ongwae, also confirmed the incident, and termed it “unfortunate thing that should not have happened”.

Ongwae, whose unit tackles wildlife/human conflicts issues in the entire country is based in Kiboko, Makueni County, denied claims attributed to the local elders that KWS is not responsive to animals attacks.

“Let me, first of all, say what happened to the old man is unfortunate, and should not have happened. I received the report after 1o pm on Friday and immediately called Makindu police to take care of the dead body,” said Ongwae.

He said he assisted in the movement of the body to the mortuary in Makindu hospital mortuary.

“We always get these incidences and act immediately. The residents of those affected areas may be thinking that acting may mean we will wipe all the elephants in the area. This is not the case because they understand our rules of engagements,” said Ongwae in a telephone interview.

Ongwae explained the rule of the game to mean that if one is injured or killed by wild animals, the government must compensate them. This he said should not warrant the killing of the elephants but that KWS warders have the obligation to drive them away from residential areas.

The area chief said that in the last 3 years, three people have been killed by elephants and scores of others injured.

“We have lost property that includes boreholes, open water pans, and water drums in our homesteads to elephants in this area. Our anger is pegged on the fact that our people are killed and property destroyed but no one has ever been compensated,” said Chief Kanchori.

Ongwae blamed the rising and heavy presence of elephants in Masimba owing to the fact that there was oil spillover in the Koboko streams that has forced 3 elephant families to relocate in search of clean stuff.

“From Monday, we will comb all the fields in Kiboko with a view to driving off the herds of elephants that have caused mayhem to Kyulu National Park,” said Ongwae.

He also said the KWS is also planning to erect a 90 km fence from Makindu to Kilinyet with a view to diverting away from the movement way of elephants on the migratory corridor that lies around Masimba. Elephants migrate from Kyulu National Park to Amboseli and Tsavo West National parks.

“We are doing a lot of engagement with the people of Masimba on these issues touching on their security, and we are also advising them not to stay late outside their homes because the area is dangerous,” Ongwae warned.

He said after receiving the Friday incident report, he immediately called Mashuuru deputy county commissioner, Stephen Nyakundi and briefed.

“I am urging the area chief to pick compensation forms and bring them to my attention so I can complete them immediately. I will also be visiting the bereaved family next week with the DCC,” he said.

 

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