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Over 400 People Killed By Wild Animals In 3 Years

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Close to 400 people have lost their lives to wildlife attacks in the last three years according to the latest data from Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS).

According to the data, between 2017-20, 388 Kenyans died after being attacked by wild animals, while 2080 were left nursing various wounds.

This came as the Ministry of Wildlife identified hippo as the new killer in the town with fatal attacks involving the animals on the rise mainly around the swollen lakes.

According to Environment PS Professor Fred Segor, the government had to date used over Sh1.6B to compensate victims of wildlife attacks.

He noted that there was a pending debt of Sh608m in unpaid claims adding that the government was keen to settle this in the current financial year.

“We have lost 388 people in the last three years and this is a decline from 428 deaths between 2014 and 2017,” he said.

The PS noted that the total number of pending claims stood at 9,367 with crop destruction being the highest at 4,135.

This emerged when the PS inaugurated the Ministerial wildlife compensation and conservation committee at KWS training institute in Naivasha.

“The county compensation committees have done their part and its upon the 12 members to authenticate these claims so that the government can pay,” he said.

Segor attributed the rising cases of human-wildlife conflict to an increase in population with land meant for wildlife shrinking.

“Land which was previously occupied by wildlife has been taken over by human beings leading to an increase in the attacks,” he said.

On hippo attacks, he admitted that the cases were on the rise manly around water bodies that has swollen in the last couple of months.

According to him, the attacks were occurring in the evening as the animals sought pastures from the shrinking land.

“In the last couple of months, we have seen an increase in cases of hippo attacks mainly around Lake Naivasha and in the process several people have lost their lives,” he said.

The PS was however quick to note that fencing of forests mainly in Mt Kenya region had reduced drastically as the animals were no longer straying to homes and farms.

He added that the ministry was in discussion in getting an insurance company to enter into the fray and deal with the cases of compensation.

“The introduction of conservancies has also helped in reducing the cases and we have also embarked on a sensitization campaign to reduce the attacks,” he said.

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