A man is fighting for his life at a Karatina hospital after being gored by an elephant that had strayed onto his farm near Sagana State Lodge in Nyeri County on Tuesday morning.
Charles Gichuhi Warui was attacked at around 7am in Mutaga village, a stone’s throw from the rural home of Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua, Deputy President William Ruto’s running mate in the presidential election.
Two elephants strayed from the Mt Kenya forest and attacked Mr Warui, who was working on his farm, said Sagana Irrigation Water Project secretary Jackson Miano, who was among those who took the victim to hospital.
He said villagers who rushed to the scene in response to screams for help managed to temporarily scare away the animal and rescue the farmer before he could be killed.
Mr Miano, who is also an official with a community electric fencing project meant to keep wildlife away from farms adjacent to the forest, said human-wildlife conflict had increased in the area after part of the fence collapsed.
"These conflicts between us and the animals have become common. The animals have been straying into our farms regularly because part of the fence has collapsed,” he said.
“Today, they were daring enough. They raided the farms in broad daylight. Were it not for villagers who rushed to the scene, the victim would have died."
At least two cows were injured and food crops worth thousands of shillings destroyed by the marauding elephants.
Kenya Wildlife Service officers quickly responded to distress calls from villagers and by the time this report was filed they were still trying to drive the elephants back into the forest.
Other villagers told Nation.Africa that a man was killed by a stray buffalo in neighbouring Gikiriri village about three months ago.
Mr Warui was recuperating at Jamii Hospital in Karatina and was said to be responding well to treatment.