Just days after Kenya Wildlife Service wardens killed a giant crocodile and cut it open in search of a girl’s remains in Embu, the officers have now taken down a hippo that is believed to have mauled a Taiwanese tourist at Lake Naivasha.
The tourist, identified as 66-year-old Chang Ming Chuang, was taking photos with a colleague on Saturday evening when they were attacked by a hippo.
According to the Kenya Wildlife Service(KWS), Mr. Chuang was pronounced dead on arrival at the Naivasha District Hospital while his colleague, 62-year-old Wu Peng Te, sustained minor injuries.
The Wildlife Service on Sunday added that they were tracking the animal, sparking heated reactions on social media from Kenyans who were against the animal’s killing.
But despite the furore, KWS on Monday went ahead and gunned down a hippo. KWS Hells Gate National Park warden Nelson Cheruiyot said it was tracked and shot hours after the incident.
“Our officers tracked and shot the animal after the incident,” said Mr Cheruiyot as quoted by Daily Nation.
As expected, the killing has drawn further condemnation from stakeholders and Kenyans alike who have accused KWS of “acting irresponsibly”.
David Kilo, the chairman Lake Naivasha Boat Owners Association, said that hours before the Saturday incident, another hippo killed a local fisherman but government officers did nothing about it.
“We are saddened by the reaction of KWS officers who acted swiftly when a Taiwanese was killed but were silent when a local was involved,” he said.
Kenyans have also raised questions about how KWS wardens were able to track the particular hippo that killed the tourist.
But a junior KWS officer, who is not authorised to speak to the press, however, defended the killing saying, “We have ways of picking out aggressive animals. We are looking for the other hippo that killed a local fisherman.”
With more questions than answers coming their way, Kenyans have taken to Twitter to express outrage.
There are, however, those who will argue that aggressive animals that violently attack humans are usually taken down to avoid further attacks.
We have sampled some reactions below.
That a hippo gets killed 4 attacking someone who clearly was in the wrong is disgusting. Perhaps we need to forget about educating visitors & start schools for hippos on tourism etiquette Class 1 Just smile for the camera, DONT bite the visitors @kwsyou can do better surely https://t.co/9whZwVWt7N
— Dr. Paula Kahumbu (@paulakahumbu) August 13, 2018
So the KWS have decided to kill the hippo that killed a tourist at Lake Naivasha,my question is how did they know it was the same hippo??Was it walking around with a toothpick in “his” mouth??
— George Odina (@george_odina) August 13, 2018
How do you identify the hippo after digestion of victim?
Was this the right hippo?
But is it a crime for a hippo to be a hippo and protect its territory?
Was it a must for the tourist to visit?
Did the ticket cover the operations?
Can the lesson be passed to other hippos? https://t.co/ZFG79S7CMx
— Sacrinos.🕵️♂️🏡 (@dnahinga) August 13, 2018
News that KWS officers have shot dead the lone hippo that attacked and killed a Chinese tourist and injured another at Lake Naivasha had angered me. Don’t get into animals space!
If KWS Officers would trail and shoot dead the rhino 🦏 killers pic.twitter.com/jmTJeQpfK2
— Kenya West© (@KinyanBoy) August 13, 2018
Why, for God’s sake? The Hippo was just being a Hippo! https://t.co/sSjzS7PdgH
— Darth Vader (@roomthinker) August 13, 2018
They are literally cobducting a massacre of our wild life under the poster boy balala quite incompetent
Its like a circus from 11 rhinos dying to KWS shooting a hippo to the CS himself flagging off the wildebeest migration 😂😂😂😂
— #BeHumble (@ranchoYuleMdark) August 13, 2018
Tourist stupidly gets too close to hippo. Hippo kills tourist. Trackers pursue hippo and kill it. Why?
— Steve Payne – AIFC (@PayneAIFC) August 13, 2018
Killing the hippo – was this done as a lesson to the other hippos or what purpose did it serve? The tourist was on the wrong and killing the hippo was pointless. Just because you have always done that doesn’t mean you can’t improve your policies 🤷🏽♀️ @tunajibu
— Agnes O (@Agnes_O17) August 13, 2018
KWS OFFICERS have killed hippo that attacked and killed a Chinese tourist from Taiwan at Lake Naivasha, Hell’s Gate Park warden Nelson Cheruiyot says.
Ask yourself, when was the last time KWS killed an animal for attacking a Kenyan?..
Kenyans are seen as voting robots
— Kenyan Parrot🇰🇪 (@TheParrotKE) August 13, 2018
Why did KWS have to kill the Lake Naivasha hippo?
Was it a man eater hippo?
How many Kenyans get killed by hippos and how many other hippos have been killed by KWS after these incidences?
— Ndiba wa Wanjiku (@Ndiba11) August 13, 2018
KWS officers killed the hippo that attacked and killed the 66year old Chinese tourist who was taking photo of the hippo at Lake Naivasha, Hell’s Gate Park.
Yesterday, KWS Promised to be hunting the hippo and Kenyans thought, the search was to confine the Hippo being lethal.
— J.B Kenya™ (@JohnBosco_Juma) August 13, 2018
So, you can’t track illegal poachers posing an imminent danger to our wildlife but you have the guts to track an hippo acting naturally in its environment. Surely, the man didn’t expect a hug from the hippo! Or did he?
— Ryan (@_RyanBN) August 12, 2018
The Chinese have been killing our animals all over the place……including poaching Rhinos in Nairobi park……have you ever tracked them down and murdered them?
— steveBIKO (@kenjapala) August 12, 2018
I stand with the hippo.
— Ike Kenneth (@IkeOjuok) August 12, 2018