Hippo kills fisherman, injures another in Mbita

Hippo attack

A Hippo grazing by the shores of Lake Victoria in the past. A fisherman has died ad another injured near Lambwe Beach in Homa Bay after one such beast attackedĀ their boat.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group.

Officials from the Kenya Coast Guard and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) have joined a search for the body of a fisherman killed by a hippo in Lake Victoria on Wednesday morning.

Jannes Okombo, 48, died when his boat capsized after being hit by the animal.

He was in the company of his colleague, who was seriously injured after being attacked by the same hippo.

The incident happened near Lambwe beach at 5am.

Witnesses said Okombo left his house a few minutes after 4am to go fishing.

He was with his colleague, Gilbert Abich.

The two fishermen boarded their boat but encountered a hippo a few metres from the beach where they were fishing.

Both were mauled as they cast their nets into the water to catch fish.

Homa Bay County Beach Management Network chairman Edward Oremo said the hippo dived under the wooden boat and capsized it before it broke into pieces, throwing Okombo and Abich overboard.

Mr Oremo said the survivor was the first to be attacked.

He was bitten and suffered serious injuries.

"He miraculously managed to escape as the animal had got hold of him," the beach official said.

But Okombo was not so lucky. As he swam away from the scene, the hippo let go of Mr Abich and headed straight for him. The animal mauled him and dived into deep water with his body.

Rescuers from various government agencies joined forces with fishermen to search for the body. It had not been found by midday.

Mr Oremo appealed to KWS to compensate the family.

He also asked the Homa Bay County government to provide humanitarian assistance to the family.

The KWS warden in charge of Homa Bay County, Ms Zipporah Mideva, said officers had been sent to the scene to assist in the recovery of the body.

The agency will start working on compensation once the body is recovered.

"Compensation will follow government guidelines. We have to find the body first before other processes are taken care of," Ms Mideva said.

Mr Abich is being treated at the Homa Bay County Referral Hospital.