Kajiado,Kenya: The Kenya Wildlife Service rangers on Wednesday shot dead a lion after it attacked and injured a motorcyclist in Isinya, Kajiado County.
The animal was shot at least six times by the rangers who said they had no option other than bring it down.
The move to kill the lion angered some especially on social media who suggested the rangers could have tranquilised it before returning it to a protected area.
KWS Spokesman Paul Gathitu said the rangers were forced to shoot the animal after the situation became “life threatening.”
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He said they had sent out two teams to recover the animal but ended up taking the extreme measure on account of the animal’s aggressive behaviour.
“It became agitated by the crowds that had gathered to see it and in the process injured one. We had no option at that point,” he said.
The injured man was rushed to hospital with multiple injuries but in a stable condition.
It is not clear if the animal had originated from the nearby Nairobi National Park. This is the third incident in which lions are straying from the park.
“It may not have necessarily come from the Nairobi National Park. That area is large and an intersection of wildlife coming from as far as Amboseli,” Gathitu said.
A crowd had gathered to have a glimpse of the big cat after word went round that it had been spotted on the Kiserian-Isinya road.
KWS officials were alerted and sent a team to the scene when the animal turned violent and attacked the man.
The incident comes less than a week after another lion strayed from Nairobi National Park, attacked and injured a man along Mombasa Road, Nairobi.
Gathitu said the difference between the Mombasa Road incident and that of Isinya was that lion in question didn’t turn on anyone else but ran back to the park after the drama.
The issue of lions straying from the park has been common in the past month. Earlier in the month, four other lionesses strayed out of the Nairobi National Park and were seen walking down Lang’ata road.
They however went back to park hours later.
Officials said then they would not allow such an incident to happen but that did not hold.
Some people have blamed overcrowding in the park for the Lang’ata and Mombasa road incidents.
“There are between 35 and 40 and given these are territorial beings, they’re always looking to push their boundaries. This is what we believe has led them to venture out of the park.”