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Villagers demand that KWS officers eat carcass of cow killed by hippos

Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) officers were on Tuesday held hostage at Rurii village in Nyandarua County by irate demonstrators after a cow was killed by marauding hippos.

The protesters, who barricaded a road, demanded that the KWS officers to eat the raw carcass of the cow, the second in a week to be killed in the village by the hippos.

They claimed that the hippos have been terrorising them for seven years, forcing some of them to abandon their farming activities.

The protesters barricaded the road paralysing operations along Rurii Ol-Kalou road forcing area OCPD Wilson Kosgei to intervene.

They complained that a prominent farmer was forced to abandon his 100-acre farm due to constant destruction of crops by the hippos. The farm had created hundreds of jobs to the locals, the protestors said.


“Last year, the hippos killed a child but KWS officers said hippos were more important to them than our lives. That same day, the hippo destroyed our crops and nearly killed another standard two child. They came back and terrorised the whole village and forced people to eat the carcass. They also attacked and maimed a young man,” one of the residents said.

The residents, who claimed that KWS officers always turn them away whenever they report such incidents, threatened to kill the hippos in the event that KWS fails to trap the animals.

“They come hours after the damage is done, then terrorise the whole village. They value the animals more than us, just because that’s where they earn their living,” one resident by the name Gitau Muchiri said.

Mr Gitau recalled a time KWS wardens instructed them to invite the hippos for a meeting then identify one that had destroyed their farms for action to be taken.

The OCPD said that the four hippos stray from a neighbouring private farm.

He directed the KWS officers to camp at the area until the issue is amicably solved. He also advised the victims and affected farmers to record statements with his office assuring them of compensation.