A pod of hippos at a river bank.
BY CORRESPONDENT,NOV 25TH,2016-A middle aged man was on Thursday morning attacked and killed by a hippo as he cut trees in a bush in Mkunumbi Village in Lamu County.
Mr Omar Mohamed Maalim, 33, met his death after the thirsty hippo emerged from a thicket and attacked him, killing him on the spot.
Confirming the incident on Friday, Lamu County Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Commander Jacob Orale appealed to locals to keep away from bushes and forests especially at this time of biting drought.
Mr Orale said the number of roaming wild animals has greatly increased due to the current drought as the animals move out of their habitats in search of food and water.
The clearing of forests especially in areas earmarked for mega industrial projects like the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor (Lapsset) corridor has also been cited as a major contributor to the increased human-wildlife conflict in the county.
“The deceased died after being attacked by a hippo that we suspect was looking for water.
“Unfortunately, due to the drought, we are experiencing a situation where wild animals are now coming closer to human residences in search of food and water.
“In the meantime, it will help for people stay away from bushes and forests to avoid being attacked,” said Mr Orale.
Commenting on the incident, the chairman of the committee responsible for compensation of victims of wildlife attacks in Lamu Mr Ali Shebwana asked locals to desist from occupying wildlife habitats in order to avoid being attacked, killed or injured, especially during the current drought period.