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Woman trampled to death by rogue elephant

Elephants at Masai Mara National Game Reserve. Due to the dry spell, wildlife have been moving outside the park causing human-wildlife conflicts that has so far left three dead, two injured and several livestock killed. PHOTO:ROBERT KIPLAGAT

A 54-year-old woman was trampled to death by an elephant in Nkineji village, Sekenani, Narok County yesterday.

Witnesses said the woman was going home from the market when the elephant from Masai Mara national reserve attacked her. This comes as cases of human-wildlife conflict in the area increased.

The animal left her with serious injuries and she died moments later.

Area Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) deputy warden Francis Muchiri termed the incident unfortunate and urged the bereaved family to remain calm. “We are already investigating the incident with a view to compensating them,” said Muchiri.

He said KWS officials rushed to the scene after she screamed for help but it was already too late to save the woman. Last month, a 20-year-old woman died after he was gored by a buffalo at Siana in Narok South.

Since last year, eight people have been killed by wildlife, mainly elephants that have been straying from Masai Mara.

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The upsurge in cases of human-wildlife conflict have been attributed to the drought that is forcing the animals out of parks in search of water and pasture.

Farmers are also counting losses as livestock too have not been spared. Hundreds of them have been killed by wildlife.

Mr Muchiri said KWS is following up on all cases and will ensure affected families are compensated. He said flocking of livestock into the reserve in search of pasture was also creating conflicts because of the shrinking grazing land.

Muchiri revealed his office is investigating over 150 cases of attacks on humans and livestock. “We will then present the list to the headquarters in Nairobi for compensation.”

He urged county governments to implement the Spatial Land Use policy to stem rising cases of human-wildlife conflict.

The policy aims at providing legal, administrative, institutional and technological framework for optimal utilisation and productivity of land-related resources in a sustainable and desirable manner at the national, county and community levels.

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