Marauding lion kills more 20 sheep and goats in kitengela

Residents of Embakasi Village in Kitengela Kajiado County show some of the sheep that were marauded by lions on Thursday, January 11. [Photo by Peterson Githaiga/Standard]
Three lions yesterday killed over 20 sheep and goats at Empakasi village in Kitengela.

Jeremiah Kaloi, one of those who lost his livestock, said one lion and its two cubs stormed his home while they were asleep and attacked his animals.

"This is not the first time we are losing livestock to marauding lions. We are angry that the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has not compensated us for previous losses despite provisions of the law that we should be paid in the event we lose our livestock to wild animals," said Kaloi yesterday.

He added: "We are giving the government a seven-day ultimatum, to compensate us failure to which we shall storm Nairobi National Park and kill wild animals to avenge loss of our livestock."

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Kaloi said the community has been in the limelight for killing lions and that they do not wish to take the same path again.

"I was planning to sell the livestock so I can pay school fees for my children. It is unfortunate I have lost them. I am not sure what I will do now that schools are already open. This is a big loss for me," Kaloi said.

Each sheep goes for Sh10, 000 per the current market rates.

The incident came as residents demanded that KWS addresses growing cases of human-wildlife conflicts.

Under the KWS Act of 2013, livestock owners must be compensated, at the current market rates, for each animal lost in such an attack.

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This came barely a day after another farmer from a nearby village lost 30 goats in an attack by wild animals.

Governor Joseph Ole Lenku has previously asked the national government to compensate herders for the death of their livestock.

Lenku has accused KWS of protecting wild animals at the expense of residents' investments and their lives.

He noted almost every resident has been affected by wildlife-human conflicts.

“I want to state here categorically that if the Kenya Wildlife Service does not compensate our herders for the animals that have been mauled by wild animals, we will mobilise our people to kill all of them and even make others our meal. What is the need of having wild animals which we cannot benefit from?” said Lenku.

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He noted that national parks within the county generate millions of shillings from tourists but the devolved unit gets nothing in return.

"The time has come for the residents to fight back and fight for their rights. The Kenya Wildlife Service is sleeping on the job and does not control wild animals anymore. We will not allow our people to be killed by wild animals we have taken care of for decades,” said Lenku.

Immediate response

There was no immediate response from KWS as efforts to contact the agency's brach manager Paul Githitu were futile.

In September, there was an outcry after a stray leopard killed 45 sheep in Kajiado.

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On Wednesday, a man lost his legs and two others were seriously injured when they were attacked by a herd of hippos in Lake Naivasha in Nakuru.

KWS is mandated to conserve and manage Kenya's wildlife. It is a State corporation established by an Act of Parliament that also has a mandate to enforce related laws and regulations.

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