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Middle-aged man gouged to death by hippo in Kilimambogo, Thika.

Shocked residents gathering at the scene of death where Gabriel Mbugua was gouged to death by a hippopotamus in a vicious attack on Saturday night in Kisiiki area of Kilimambogo, Thika East Sub-County.

A middle-aged man was gouged to death by a hippopotamus in a vicious attack on Saturday night in Kisiiki area of Kilimambogo, Thika East Sub-County.

According to the locals Gabriel Mbugua, who is a sand loader, was heading home from Kilimambogo shopping centre at around 8.00pm when the incident occurred less than a 100 metres from his house.

“Neighbours heard him scream at around 8pm and by the time they arrived at the scene, the damage was already done and the hippos sped towards River Athi which is less than 1 Kilometre from here,” narrated Patrick Kahacho who is a neighbour to the deceased.

Kahacho said that the victim seemed to have struggled with the beast for some time before it eventually overcame him after it badly bit him on the face and stomach.

“By the time we arrived, he was unconscious but later died before we could rush him to hospital,” added Kahacho.  

Residents we talked to said that the number of roaming wild animals has greatly increased due to the drought as the hippos move out of the water at night in search of food and water. The attacked, the seventh in the area in the recent times, came amid concerns over rising cases of human-wildlife conflicts in the village. They added that out of the seven attacks, only one man survived the hippo attacks.

They also claimed that other wild animals such as hyenas, cheetahs and crocodiles have been straying out of their natural habitats in search of pasture and flesh. They blamed their predicaments on the local administration and the committees constituted by the previous leadership of shortchanging them in the issuance of land given to them by President Uhuru Kenyatta last year.

They accused them of allocating themselves and their cronies most of the land, leaving most families without none or with very small plots of land, thus having no choice but to continue living in the lowlands at the mercy of floods, hippos and crocodiles.

They appealed to the area MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina and the President to revisit the issue before thing went out of hand.

Some of them threatened to kill the world animals as none of the victims of these attacks ever received any compensation from the Kenya Wildlife Service.

“We will start killing these wild animals since nobody seems to value human life. All they care are these wild animals. So many people here have also lost their livestock to these animals but no one seems to care!” said one residents.

The body of the deceased has been taken to General Kago Road Funeral Home awaiting postmortem and burial.

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