Stray leopard injures two in Kwale before villagers put it down

A leopard that was killed after attacking two people in Batani Village in Kwale

A leopard that was killed after attacking two people in Batani Village in Kwale County on October 23, 2022.

Photo credit: Siago Cece | Nation Media Group

Two people were injured on Sunday morning after they were attacked by a leopard in Batani village in Samburu, Kwale County, before villagers killed the wild animal.

The victims are recuperating at Samburu Sub County Hospital.

According to Samburu Police boss Francis Ombaka, the wild animal, believed to have strayed from the Tsavo East National Park, was noticed by a group of women at around 6.30am.

“They were surprised to see it and alarmed residents. This attracted many villagers who came to save them while armed. It ended up injuring two residents,” he said.

52-year-old Chirimani Bembeyu, one of the victims, is nursing injuries on the head, leg and hand while Tsuma Lalo, 19, is also nursing bruises at the Samburu Sub County Hospital.

Mr Ombaka advised residents not to be quick to hurt wild animals, but instead report any such incident to relevant authorities.

“We understand that the animals are straying off from National Parks because of harsh climate conditions. Residents should be careful and also not take matters into their own hands, but report to the authorities first,” he said.

He further asked the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to intervene and help monitor and control the animals to prevent them from getting into villages.

Human-Wildlife Conflict

Cases of Human-Wildlife Conflict have been rampant in Kwale County, with elephants attacking farms and villagers in Samburu, Kinango and Lungalunga areas, as drought persists in the county.

In areas like Mariakani, it was earlier reported that herds of elephants are freely roaming the area as they search for water and destroying farms.

Kwale County KWS senior Warden Jacob Orahle, admitted that the wild animals are straying from the Tsavo National Parks, on a migratory corridor to Northern Tanzania in search of water from permanent rivers.

“Drought conditions have affected our wild animals and they are now roaming in villages looking for water and pasture. However, we have deployed more wardens to save the situation,” he said.

In the last three months, elephants have attacked residents in Lungalunga, Kwale County, who threatened to harm the animals using bows and arrows if KWS doesn't help curb the situation.

Cases of leopard attacks on livestock have also been reported in Voi, Taita Taveta County, which borders Kwale County.

Last year, a hyena was killed after it attacked villagers killing two babies.

Investigations later revealed the hyena had rabies.