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Kenya Wildlife Service officers kill leopard in Kericho

By Nikko Tanui | Published Tue, February 27th 2018 at 00:00, Updated February 26th 2018 at 23:58 GMT +3
The carcass of leopard the Kenya Wildlife Service officers killed at Kapnyagitare village, Simbi location in Soin/Sigowet constituency. [PHOTO: NIKKO TANUI]

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officers killed a male adult marauding leopard at Kapnyagitare village, Simbi location in Soin/Sigowet constituency.

Kericho KWS officer in-charge, Salome Chelelgo said the animal was killed at around 3:30pm Monday afternoon.

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“The Kenya Wildlife Service officers were forced to shot and kill the leopard after it charged after Simbi location villagers who were attending to their normal farming activities,” she said.

Chelelgo, nonetheless said there was no human casualty during the melee which left the villagers shaken after the close shave with the dangerous swift beast.

“Before the killing of the leopard, it had had been reported that it had killed a goat and ate a calf in one of the homesteads in Kapnyagitare village,” said Chelelgo.

This is the latest incident of leopard killing and the second this year since another adult male leopard was killed in Turguito area in Belgut constituency on January 16th.

For the past few weeks, cases of leopard predations have been reported in several locations in Belgut and Soin constituency.

Chelelgo attributed the leopards sightings and predations in Kericho to the extensive disturbance of wildlife habitats.

“Soin/Sigowet constituency for example used to be a wildlife area because of the shrub land. As the bushes are extensively cleared for agricultural activities such as sugarcane planting, wild animals have been forced to move out and wander into the villages,” said Chelelgo.

KWS had been laying down traps and holding series of public barazas in Turguito, Keben, Kiptule, Ngesumin, Kamasega, Kaptalamwa among others to caution area residents against arming themselves to hunt down leopards and other wild animals.

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“We get most of the predator reports after people have been injured. Kericho residents should understand that anything to do with a predator should be immediately reported to the nearest police station, the chief and to us so that we can act swiftly,” said Chelelgo.